Community members were asked to keep grass clippings out of the road and out of storm drains during Wednesday’s Washington Court House City Council meeting as both have been an issue, according to City Manager Joe Denen. Currently, there is no proper way for grass clippings to be disposed of.
“Only water needs to go down the storm drain,” said Denen. “Grass clippings can clog the drains and look unsightly on streets. They can present slick hazards, especially when they get wet and they’re fresh. If somebody goes along there on a motorcycle, that can be a not very good day. All the storm drains—they end up in the creek. And, guess what: ‘Billy Bass’ isn’t supposed to eat your lawn clippings. You put fertilizer and stuff on there that isn’t good for Billy Bass. (If you) want to do something for the environment and wildlife in the community, don’t blow the grass clippings out in the street. Certainly don’t bag them up and then think that the storm drain is a convenient place to dispose of them.”
Council member Jim Blair asked if there is a current way for grass clippings to be properly disposed of. Denen said there is currently not and, while a solution is trying to be worked out, there is a concern that people will dump things other than clippings or brush that is not meant to be dumped.
“We do not have a designated place for grass clippings. A mulching mower is a great invention. If you are a dedicated, ‘I must mulch’ or ‘I must bag my grass clippings,’ we will have a discussion with (Fayette County Soil and Water Conservation District) about recommended ways to compost those or what to do with those, so we can give people options,” said Denen.
Also during his speech, Denen thanked the Master Gardeners for the flowers placed downtown along with sponsors who support them.
He reminded people that the city water bills now look a little different and give more information. Overdue notices are still a different color from the regular bill.
“If you pay by automatic deduction and you get that bill, you’ll notice on the bill it’ll have ‘paid by draft’ on it in red. It will reflect the current balance, but if you pay by automatic deduction, you still get that bill with information on it,” said Denen.
He also explained the city is happy with the quality of local street paving work and asked for patience from drivers as the work is being done—especially under the long working days and hot working conditions of the contractors performing the work.
Denen recognized those who attended and held Memorial Day services along with the good condition of the Washington Cemetery that day.
As for legislation addressed during the meeting, the first time legislation is seen and approved by council it is placed on a first reading, and the second time on a second reading. Adoption of resolutions can occur once they have been placed on second reading. Adoption of ordinances can occur once they have been placed on third reading.
One ordinance was placed on second reading during the meeting. If passed, the ordinance would approve the district tax collection and distribution agreement.
Two resolutions were placed on second reading and were then adopted.
The first of those resolutions authorizes Denen to enter into a contract with Coughlin Ford for the purchase of a 2021 cemetery dump truck.
The second resolution authorizes Denen to enter into a contract with Beford Ford for the purchase of two 2021 pickup trucks.
As for new legislation, four resolutions were placed on first reading.
The first of those four, if passed, would authorize Denen to enter into an agreement with the Fayette County Commissioners for the provision of public defender services.
Although every council member voted in favor for the resolution for providing public defender services, council member Ted Hawk explained he believes the council members should get a thank you card every time they pass this type of legislation.
The final three resolutions, if passed, would reappoint David Fish to the Board of Zoning Appeals (term concluding Dec. 31, 2024), and Denny Beis to both the Board of Building Appeals (term concluding Dec. 31, 2025) and the Board of Zoning Appeals (term concluding Dec. 31, 2024).
It was decided during the meeting that, starting next council meeting, council members will go back to their regular seats from pre-COVID social distancing, which will allow a more professional and welcoming atmosphere to the public that would like to attend meetings, according to council members.
Washington Court House City Council meetings are located in the second floor council chambers of the City Administration Building, 105 N. Main Street. The meetings are added to the YouTube channel “City of Washington Court House, Ohio” at www.youtube.com/channel/UCRwMxUBn8XIQTjnSvFaGDgA. Meetings are held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month at 7:30 p.m.
Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.