Sabina councilwoman attests to her own case of COVID

By Gary Huffenberger - Wilmington News Journal

SABINA — A village council member, sick with COVID-19, spoke about her and her husband’s coronavirus cases during a virtual meeting of council.

At the end of her report about the council Recreation and Tourism Committee that she chairs, Sabina Village Councilwoman Bethany Grehl said, “The only other thing I have is, you guys just stay safe over the holiday season. This COVID is no joke. I know everybody takes it as it’s light, and it’s nothing, but it’s not.

“We’re having a lot of hard times with our breathing,” said Grehl. Her husband is Sabina Police Lt. John Grehl, who is the acting chief.

She also said it’s hard to keep anything down and avoid dehydration. “But we’re trying to stay ahead of it. So if you guys just stay safe, wear your face masks, wash your hands. Trust me; it’s not worth it.”

At the close of the Wednesday night meeting, Mrs. Grehl thanked everybody for the well-wishes and prayers, and added that she and John look forward to enjoying a Thanksgiving feast after their senses of taste and smell return.

During the police report to council, Mr. Grehl said he is “feeling a lot better than I was,” and is hoping he’s on an upward swing and looks ahead to getting back to work.

In other news, Sabina Fiscal Officer Nancy Cornell reported village officials have received a complaint about a homeless camp from some residents who walk the bike trail. The homeless camping site was reported to be visible and “an eyesore,” Cornell related.

Lt. Grehl spoke up and said he knows who it is. He said there had also been a dog there and he had the dog warden come out and get the dog.

“I got charges pending on the person. I just don’t know where she went to, but I know who it is. I just can’t get ahold of her to go back and clean it up,” he added.

On another topic, Clinton County Solid Waste Management District (SWMD) Coordinator Jeff Walls addressed council, and proposed that the residential recycling drop-off program in town be moved to a village-owned site. Currently located at Uhl’s, Walls noted that down the road a future owner may not want the recycling containers on their property. Furthermore, the county SWMD is seeking to invest money into an enhanced drop-off site with a fence corral, and wouldn’t want to spend taxpayer funds only to have to move away.

Village officials recommended the gravel lot near the village swimming pool as a prospective suitable place to relocate.

About 78 tons of recyclables were retrieved from the Sabina drop-off location in 2019, according to Walls.

During the meeting Cornell read a report to council submitted by Mayor Jim Mongold, who was absent. In it, Mongold stated he and the village law director will soon interview candidates for the police chief position. One question on everyone’s mind is how will the village deal with the drug and theft problem, he said.

Mongold stated he takes “a hard stance on both,” and will ask each chief candidate how they would reduce the problem.

“My desire is to sit with our law director and chief and put a plan in place that will more effectively handle repeat offenders. I may also be working to assist the development of other deterrents that I cannot speak to at this time,” wrote Mongold.

Meanwhile, Sabina Law Director Laura Gibson said she plans to contact the state development services agency next week to inquire about incentives for businesses to locate in the village. She said she wants to learn if it’s possible to change the terms the village created previously.

Of the town’s current incentive plan, Sabina Council President Peggy Sloan said, “The incentive [for a business] just doesn’t sound like it’s there.”

In action at the session, council heard the first of three readings on legislation to adopt a new policy and procedural manual for employees of the village. According to the wording, the current manual “is outdated and existing copies contain conflicting guidelines.”

The desire, instead, is to have a uniform and updated manual for the town’s employees, the measure stated.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

By Gary Huffenberger

Wilmington News Journal