City of Eaton discusses finances, EPD

By Oliver Sanders -

EATON — Eaton City Council discussed many issues at its meeting last week.

During the meeting held Monday, Oct. 17, Finance Director Stephanie Hurd reported currently the city is spending more than what the it is receiving, year to date. Her most pressing concern was that 90-percent of outstanding debt was due to water bills.

City council is looking into retrieving money from the state pulled from the Local Government Fund. Mayor David Kirsch suggested educating the public more about this and having residents conduct efforts to help recover the funds held by the state.

Eaton Police Chief Chad DePew reported on his department holding numerous meetings with the community. He introduced Sergeant Eric Beeghly who reported the Neighbors Against Crime program was held at the Eaton High School recently, introducing residents to ideas and procedures to help the fight against crime. He also spoke about the Substance Abuse Prevention Program (SAPP) which is under way — the department is conducting numerous visits and seminars to help curb the drug use in the city and all of Preble County.

In addition, the Eaton Police Department has introduced new disaster training programs to locals schools concerning situations such as drug overdoses and proper procedures in communication with first responders, immediate first aid application and other methods required for such scenarios.

The EPD will participate in the 5K Logan’s Run event which will be held on Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Fort Saint Clair Park.

Chief DePew also reported on last week’s participation with the Preble County Sheriff’s Department and a number of local churches in a workshop on the issue of church safety. He was happy to report the training went well.

Also reported on was an annual statewide program conducted by the Ohio Department of Justice which evaluates police departments on their hiring procedures and the use of force. The program is not yet official, but the state will compile a list expected to be released in the spring of 2017.

The K-9 unit was presented to officials, introducing a new officer, Shadow, who replaced Argo just recently. The canine is teamed up with officer Craig Jones, who was happy to report the new animal is working out well in the department. The K-9 unit has already been used four times in the past few months.

Police officials also spoke about the upcoming levy which will be on the Nov. 8 ballot. Officials said the the renewal levy will not increase taxes.

Preble County Commissioner Chris Day visited the meeting to give a friendly reminder of the upcoming elections and his hopes to be re-elected for the next four years.

Council held a second reading of Ordinance 16-06 for Preble County Development Disabilities, who applied for a zoning amendment for property at 201 East Lexington Road. The ordinance asks to change the zoning from Residential-1 (R-1) to Community Commercial (C-2). The motion was approved.

Ordinance 16-10, concerning the creation of a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) was waived for a later date, for review.

Terry Willis of Eaton asked council about a proposed craft brewery in the works, for which Eaton Planning Board did not give a favorable recommendation. The application for the brewery was pulled, but the project is not yet dead, according to officials. Willis provided information which showed how a local community benefits from a local brewery. The main problem, according to officials, is the proposed location, which council will look into.

By Oliver Sanders

Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH

Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH