SABINA — A Clinton County commissioner encouraged village officials here to keep their eyes upon their upgrade agenda in order to better position the town to benefit from hoped-for new jobs in the county.
Clinton County Commissioner Patrick Haley spoke at Thursday night’s council meeting, which immediately followed a public meeting that was part of an effort for Sabina to receive a competitive Community Development Block Grant neighborhood revitalization grant of up to $500,000.
“Slowly but surely, the economy is improving in Clinton County. As you’ve seen some of the announcements out of the air park, we’re on the verge of some serious growth, if things fall into place,” Haley said.
After noting not everyone would want to live in the city of Wilmington or out in the country, Haley said a lot of people would find the village of Sabina appealing as a place to reside near their workplaces.
“So I think as you make those improvements, you open the door to those individuals,” added the commissioner.
After his election last November, Sabina Mayor Dean Hawk asked village council and staff for ideas of things that would improve Sabina. A neighborhood revitalization grant was among the priority items set by village officials and contained in a list of prioritized goals written on a white board in council chambers.
Business development is a focus of Hawk, whose mayor’s report Thursday mentioned “a great presentation on economic development by Rod Davisson, village administrator for Obetz, Ohio” that the mayor heard at an Ohio Municipal League seminar this month.
As of mid-March, there were 20 houses for sale in Sabina, 13 of them unoccupied, Hawk also reported.
In another business development item, Sabina Village Councilman Jim Mongold, who chairs council’s newly created Development Committee, said he welcomes suggestions for what particular direction the committee should take.
Sabina Fiscal Officer Nancy L. Cornell, during her report, said there’s a need for donations or fundraising for the community pool, which is owned by the village. Shortly afterward, Haley asked how much the pool’s typical startup costs are, and was told $5,000.
Noting he is only one of three county commissioners, Haley said the commissioners recently helped the City of Wilmington Parks & Recreation Department “with some hospital money,” and that it might be worthwhile for Sabina to set up an appointment in front of all three commissioners regarding the season startup expenses of the pool.
Once the pool is open, it can then generate revenue from admission fees, said Haley.
Councilwoman Peggy Sloan said of the idea, “That’s a place to start.”
In other business at the council session:
• Dealing with possible violations of the town’s nuisance law, which addresses weeds and tall grass, will not simply be driven by complaints made by the public. As time permits, Sabina Police Chief Keynon Young will go around town and spot potential violations himself, as he formerly did.
Councilman Bill Lewis called it “wonderful news,” adding the approach can be used to immediately improve the town’s appearance. Sloan, for her part, said she had brought to the meeting a list of properties that may be subject to the nuisance ordinance process, without her knowing that a change in practice was in the works.
• Caleb Brown was sworn in as an auxilary police officer. A resident of the village, Brown is a son of the New Vienna police chief.
• Mention was made of the 62nd annual Sabina Lions Club Easter egg hunt to be held 11 a.m. Saturday, March 26. The event — for children up to 12 years old — will be by the water tower at the village park.
• An executive session was held, requested by Councilman Michael Walls. He cited a need to discuss matters pertaining to a public employee or a public official. Lewis voted against the motion to have the executive session.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.