New Paris seeking donations for park

By Kelsey Kimbler -

NEW PARIS — The Village of New Paris plans to approach Reid Hospital for donations for the village park.

During its last meeting, council discussed the park needing new tables specifically, but noted there are many other items the village could benefit from, including benches and trash cans.

Council is asking the community for donations, as well.

A representative from Farmers State Bank attended the meeting to appeal to council to switch to their bank, instead of using LCNB. He stressed, they are 98 years old and locally owned, and their “commitment to community” makes them unlike other banks.

A representative from LCNB also attended the meeting. The bank appealed to council in the past, but said that they appreciate the Village of New Paris’ business and would like to it.

Mary Bullen with the HIT Foundation, who was in attendance at the meeting, said LCNB gives back to the community in a way she has not seen The Farmers State Bank do.

She then gave her own presentation on the success of the HIT Foundation. She explained, they have their own rental properties, and their tenants never pay more than 30 percent of their income. If they have nothing, they pay nothing, but are then asked to do community service.

“We like to think we do as much as we can for everybody, but especially help the children,” she said.

The HIT Foundation also operates the Senior Home Repair program. Seniors have fixed incomes, and it is hard for them to make repairs to their homes, so often the homes in the community that look in most need of repair, belong to seniors.

In New Paris, according to Bullen, the Foundation did eight Senior Home Repair projects last year. In 2017, so far there has been three completed projects.There are currently five ongoing projects.

Contributions from the Community help the HIT Foundation do these repairs to senior homes.

In fall 2015, the HIT Foundation opened a homeless shelter, due to Preble County’s lack of one. They have provided homeless services to 180 people. During 2016, 13 New Paris residents were helped by these services, according to Bullen.

In 2016, the HIT Foundation paid for a housing needs assessment for the whole of Preble County. It revealed that 41 percent of New Paris renters are paying more than 30 percent of their income towards housing. “Unfortunately, some of that housing is not even decent or safe,” Bullen added.

The HIT Foundation sees this as a growing problem in the community. It is in the lower poverty level where people cannot find safe housing.

In other business:

Ordinance 2017-04 to renew the village’s contract with DP&L was approved by council. This pertains to an agreement the village has had since 1992 and it will update the existing contract.

Northwest Fire and Ambulance had council vote to appoint a new trustee from the village. The existing trustee resigned and Northwest chose a new one.

The next council meeting will be held on Monday, April 3, at 7 p.m. in the New Paris Village Building.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH