Police Chief David Hewitt’s report for 2016 showed 237 Case Reports with 37 accidents, 25 handgun permit applications 284 arrests and charges plus 1067 calls for service.
There were36 felonies, 83 misdemeanors, 46 infractions 13 ordinance violations and 77 warnings given.
There was a higher than normal amount of juvenile charges with 29. Hewitt said about 25 of those incidents were filed by School Resource Officer David Jackson. Most were minor incidents but Hewitt said it was Jackson’s busiest year at the school.
Hewitt explained that there are a variety of other reasons people contact the police department which are noted elsewhere, including a person who brought in a WWII grenade for the police to dispose of.
Discussion was held about the department’s new patrol car with camera installed and whether it would replace officer Brian Browning or Rick Miller’s vehicle.
Karrah Miller gave a Main Street report and noted a grant paid for work on Marsha Louden’s Empire House first and second floor.
Also, a $4000 grant from the Rising Sun Regional Foundation was received for a new cooker to be used for the Navy Ben Festival.
Council approved a change order request for the riverfront development project which approved a time extension (which has been completed). A lawn mower claim from Larry Gipson has yet to be resolved.
Northcutt reported that, due to the rain and then winter weather, Paul Rohe Co. was unable to do paving of streets for the Community Crossing Grant. The work will be done in the spring.
Land consultants has developed specifications which will be available January 12th and bids due by February 1st for work on Industrial Access Drive.
Council approved its first ordinance of the new year which will allow the rainy day fund to be used as matching funds for the Community Crossing Grant. The previous ordinance did not stipulate the use of Rainy Day Funds.. The council voted to suspend the rules in order to adopt the ordinance. Councilmen Dennis Williams, Bill Marksberry and Swede Colen voted in favor. Councilmen Bud Radcliff and John Rumsey were not in attendance.
Northcutt reported that the city had 330 tons of compost brought into the city dump in 2016.
As a member of the port authority, Northcutt reported the members are looking at a better and more cost effective way of putting in the boat docks. Longer spuds would be needed at the new dock.
Jamie Bell submitted a report from the Parks Department which noted an increase in rental income.
Councilman Bill Marksberry was selected to remain as the city council protem to act in place of mayor Brent Bascom when needed.
A Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) resolution was approved. It allows for city employees to receive $1000 for the year upon recent of bills. Anybody hired after the first quarter would receive $750 with those hired in the second quarter $750, in the third quarter $500 and in the final quarter $250. The funds can’t roll over to the next year.
Council discussed the request from the Ohio County Historical Society to name the alley between First and Second Street behind the historical Jimmy Dorrell Alley. They will need to pass an ordinance next month.
The first meeting of the new year was a time for appointments to numerous boards. They included Debbie Thomason to the Advisory plan commission with a replacement still needed for Phil Ruxton who had served on the board for 20 years. He resigned his position after the death of his wife Barb.
Utility Service Board -Mike Padgett for Billy Hoffman
Board of Zoning Appeals- reappointed Garry Forwood.
Redevelopment Commission- Tim Phelps, Sandy Kinzer, Babette Martin and Jim Jenkins. Councilman John Rumsey is a member of the board but a decision on the appointment to his spot was tabled due to Rumsey’s current battle with brain cancer.
Mayor Brett Bascom was named to the Economic Development Commission
Angela Siekman was renamed to the park board
Michelle Mellang will remain on the Ohio County Community Foundation (OCCF) board.
Sissy Potter was reappointed top the Rising Sun Regional Foundation.
Main Street appointments were Peg Dickson, Deb Muenchen and Robbie King.
The tourism department reported there would be no regatta this year but instead would like to use $15,000 already approved to be used for another event. The annual boat races cost $50,000 plus room and board expenses and was shortened by wind and rain this year.
The city and Rising Sun Municipal Utilities will combine for $50 to go to the OCCF in memory of Barb Ruxton and Linda Walker.