EATON — City of Eaton Fire Chief Brian Smith was sworn into office during the Eaton City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Smith has been serving as Interim Fire Chief since Sept. 1, 2016, but his duties include both Fire and EMS.
Mayor Dave Kirsch administered the oath of office and Smith’s wife pinned on his badge.
Council also approved a resolution to “strongly oppose” the State of Ohio Governor’s proposed 2017-2018 Budget, which suggests a state-operated program for the collection of Ohio Municipal Income Tax.
Basically, this would take the power away from the local government, and give it to the State, according to officilas. Council is afraid this would result in a “substantial loss of revenue needed to support the health, safety, welfare and economic development efforts of Ohio municipalities.”
City Manager Brad Collins said of the proposal, “This is something that seems to come up every year. The proposal is for the business profit to go through the state, instead of coming to the city. They will take out the fee and send them back to the city. But I think we can all see the writing on the wall as a Trojan horse.”
All council members were in agreement of passing the resolution opposing the proposal. It will then be given to the state officials.
In other business, council is working on making necessary changes to the Administrative Code to change the council meeting time. Council would like to meet once a month at 6 p.m., instead of 7 p.m. In order to make this change, they have to amend Chapter 121.01(a).
However, it was pointed out by Councilman Joe Renner, additional wording might require change. The existing code reserves both the first and third Monday of every month for council. However, council only meets on the third Monday. If they need an additional meeting, they do not make use of the first Monday, rather choosing to have a special meeting declared. The only time council meets on both reserved Mondays is in December for the annual organizational meeting, which counts as a sort of special meeting.
Council agreed to strike the first Monday from the wording and will have to come back to Ordinance 17-03 with corrected wording. They approved the first reading of the ordinance, but will revisit at their next meeting.
Ordinance 17-02 was approved by council, allowing for the annual appropriations to the budget for fiscal year 2017. Collins explained, one big appropriation that is needed is for personnel. The Nation Avenue project will also be a large capital expenditure and the budget allows for several smaller capital expenditures.
Resolution 17-04 was approved, authorizing the city manager to purchase a new vehicle. Every year they replace one vehicle, normally the “worst vehicle in the fleet.” This year it is a 2009 cruiser that is getting replaced.
Council discussed the Fort St. Clair Association. The association had previously approached council about a plan to excavate at the Fort, but council did not approve the plan. Rather than halting progression of the project, the association has chosen to continue to speak to other organizations, according to council.
Council is unhappy with what they feel is the association going behind their backs.
It was decided Collins will draft a letter to the Fort St. Clair Association stressing council’s opposition to the project. Council will review the letter before it is sent out.
In other news:
•The planning for Gillman Home Center is moving along. At Planning Board, the site plan was approved with conditional use.
•Planning Board also approved a conditional use application for 121 Industrial Drive for the RV repair shop.
•Design work continues for the Nation Avenue project.
•The pool will open on Friday, May 26, which is Memorial Day weekend.
•MedFlight open house was on Feb. 8. The helicopter is now stationed, weather permitting, 12 hours a day. A hangar and base is planned to be completed this summer.
•The Residences at Eagle’s Point is still accepting applications. Residents have begun to move in.
•Crosswalk Cafe was sold and has closed for remodeling. It will reopen as 1808 Cafe in early March.
Eaton City Council will meet on Monday, March 20, at 7 p.m. in the City Building.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH