City considers 2% salary increase

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Rising Sun City Council held its first reading of Salary Ordinance 2016-10 during its Thursday, July 7th.

The two percent increase would be for full-time workers with the part-time rate going to $9.14 per hour.

Councilman Dennis Williams spoke in opposition to the increase and, noting it wouldn’t be a popular decision, he said it is time the city stands pat.

Discussion opened up and resident Bob White spoke up against the two percent increase, noting school teachers haven’t received a raise. He called it a signal to the community that the city can handle the increase while many other businesses can’t. He suggested a smaller increase if any.

Councilman Bud Radcliff noted a two percent increase would amount to helping an employee make their co-pay as gas prices and utility costs have raised.

Police Chief David Hewitt gave an employee perspective noting a raise three years ago was absorbed by insurance cost.

The council will hear a second reading and vote to adopt the salary ordinance at its August 4th meeting.

Quarterly reports were given.

Peg Dickson invited everyone to the Ohio County Community Foundation annual meeting at 6 p.m. on July 22nd at the Schroeder Building.

Thank yous were received from Janet Bowman (custodian) and from the OCCF for the city’s donation to the Today and Tomorrow fund. Also donations made in memory of Ronnie Mondary, Ruby Baker and Thelma Dibble.

Jamie Bell gave an update on the park department which included seven events involving participants three years and up. It has been a good revenue year.

Several freshmen have been working to receive community service hours.

Hewitt gave his quarterly police department report. The most notable increase was nine juvenile offenses including the arrest of four juveniles for vandalism at Shiner Park last week. The other instances occurred at the Ohio county Elementary Middle School.

There were a total of 289 calls. The city has issued numerous handgun permits over the past year but had just three handgun permits in the last quarter.

Hewitt reported the officers have completed annual training for handguns and domestic violence.

Karrah Miller gave the Historic Downtown report including the installation of 60 flower pots. Events included the annual river sweep and art exhibit for high school students. She has been promoting businesses on Facebook.

The Navy Bean Festival is playing to add a princess contest. The annual Farmers Market is open to everyone on Saturdays. A new business is coming in August to the Potts Building on Main Street. Matt Phillips is president, Robbie King vice-president and Larissa Phelps is secretary/treasurer of the downtown board.

Kendal Miller gave a report for the tourism board. She said Hurst Beans has donated 600 pounds of navy beans for this year’s Navy Bean Festival. Plans are progressing for the Regatta Aug. 12-13. Greg Gardner and Jim McDaniel are new tourism board members.

Gary Kinnett gave a redevelopment commission report regarding the Blight Elimination Program. The commission has received reimbursement for demolition of the five BEP properties. Proposals for new development at Sixth and High Street will be opened soon. Kinnett said then it will be time for discussion with zoning, casino management and others regarding what to plan for the property.

Mike Northcutt gave several reports including his project manager report on the riverfront project, which is all but complete.

A Road Assessment Management Plan was needed before the city can get any of the recently approved road funds. Council approved $7600 for HWC Engineering to do the necessary inventory. The city can apply for up to a million dollars in funds.

Council discussed a complaint of the Jeff Kinnett property at 204 South High Street. He had been given to the weekend to make progress on cleaning up the project. Northcutt was to view the site on Monday and contact the city attorney on whether to proceed with court action.

A complaint for the property of Emanuel Monologou of 301 S. High Street has gone to the court for judgment.

Additional complaints have been made for Jim Cutter’s place at 723 Margaret Avenue and Sallie Pryse at 415 Second Street.

The plan commission will have a hearing on a rezone request by Virgil Peters at 707 N. High St. and Dennis Williams at 715 N. High St. on August 8th.

The Board of Works has addressed a complaint against the Mike Craig property at 917 North St.

Northcutt gave a Port Authority report thanking Paul Bovard and the street department which saved money by installing the docks.

The plan commission sent a letter to Bank of America for property at 423 S. Walnut St. A demolition permit was approved for the property.

The city council voted to approve a fire protection contract with the Rising Sun Volunteer Fire Department. The payment would be $25,000, The city also has $62,853 budgeted in its riverboat gaming funds for the fire department.

Council had the first reading of Depository and investment Ordinance 2016-11 and Revolving Loan Fund Ordinance 2016-12. The latter would allow the recommendation for loans that may be requested for development of the BEP properties.