In one of its longest meetings in months, the Bellefontaine City Council passed an ordinance to start a $700,000 project to repave the city's streets. The ordinance made its first appearance on the agenda Tuesday, the three-reading rule was suspended and the ordinance passed without a dissenting vote.
Also passing Tuesday was an ordinance allowing Service- Safety Director Jim Holycross to enter into bids for the widening of State Route 47, west of the city in front of the AGC plant. That project will cost the city no money out of hand, as the Ohio Department of Development and the Dept. of Transportation are footing the bill, with the city only to provide in-kind services through the City Engineer's Office.
Finance Committee Chair Mark Fissel said that residents can expect to see the crews out repaving the streets within the next six weeks, and also expected that the SR 47 project will be completed before winter.
The meeting occasionally lapsed into the contentious, as four Bellefontaine residents were on hand to complain about properties owned by Gil Myers, specifically houses in the 100 block of East Brown and in the 200 block of North Detroit.
Chassity McKee, 124 E. Brown, who also spoke about the conditions at 121 E. Brown at the last council meeting, brought along a resident of the house and passed out pictures of the house to council members. When Councilman Peter DeSomma made an inquiry to the resident of 121 E. Brown, McKee stood and inferred that DeSomma had business connections with Mr. Myers or his attorney, a charge that DeSomma denied, reporting that he had only spoken when an attorney representing Mr. Myers and that he (DeSomma) was in no way connected with either party in the dispute.
In quite another matter, Councilman David Haw reported that there has been a complaint about the handling by the Joint Recreation District in a murky dispute between the Little Chiefs and Little Raiders football programs. Councilman Haw was dissatisfied enough with Superintendent Kris Myers' handling of the matter that he stated to council that "Mr Myers performance has been absolutely horrible." Later in the meeting, Haw quizzed Law Director Howard Traul on the how the Joint Recreation District came about and what powers the District has over the parks owned solely by the city, questions that are certain to be raised at future meetings.
In other matters, Mayor Adam Brannon reported that the next temporary budget will be presented to the council at the next meeting, while SSD Holycross said that he learned Tuesday that Governor John Kasich has declared the State of Ohio a disaster area as a result of the June 29th windstorm and that Bellefontaine - provided it meets the requirements - could see funds from FEMA.
Also, Audit Committee Chair Allen Hadley and City Auditor Jack Reser both praised the city for what was called a "clean and unqualified" judgement of the city's books following a state audit that started in December 2011.