Downtown parking, the recreation program, liability insurance coverage, and a grant which would help the Lillian Jones Museum were among the diverse subjects which came up at Jackson City Council's meeting of Monday evening, May 8. Council addressed the following topics during the meeting:
-- First Ward C ouncilman and Police, Fire and Traffic Committee Chairman Jon Hensler reported that his committee conducted a meeting prior to that night's full council meeting to address a proposed ordinance addressing downtown parking issues. The ordinance will be presented at the next council meeting on Monday, May 22.
-- Mayor Randy Heath, who also oversees the city's baseball/softball program, reported that there are 30 teams in the program this year with approximately 100 volunteer coaches involved. He saluted Coordinator Travis Ruckel and his assistants for their hard work.
-- Mayor Heath acknowledged there was a very low attendance at the most recent and unpublicized public meeting concerning a proposed Neighborhood Revitalization grant which would benefit much of the northwest section of the city. Heath said he thought there would be one more meeting before the grant application is submitted.
-- At-Large Councilman George Kitchen asked if a planned grant application for a major expansion of the city's bike path had been killed by the Jackson County Commissioners' recent rejection of a requested resolution of overall support sought by the Ohio Valley Conservation Coalition, which was seeking the grant for the city. Mayor Heath confirmed the city's grant died with the commissioners' decision.
-- In response to a question and request from Councilman Hensler, Service/Safety Director Sheward said the city would continue to store discarded tires on city property, but made clear doing so results in problems for the city because of people illegally dumping old tires at times when they are not supposed to be accepted.
-- Council took the first reading of an ordinance accepting the bid of the Jones-Stephenson Insurance Agency of Jackson to provide the city with liability insurance coverage for the next three years at a cost of $112,375 a year. Sheward said the Jones-Stephenson offer was the lower of two bids and that the agency has provided this coverage in the past while "providing us with excellent service." Sheward recommended that council approve the bid and while only a first reading was taken, there was no opposition voiced.
-- At the request of Mayor Heath, council voted unanimously to pass an emergency ordinance which allow the city to pay umpires working the city's summer baseball and softball games $30 a game if they coach or have coached varsity high school baseball or softball teams. Until the change was made, only certified umpires were paid $30 a game while all others were paid $15 a game. Heath said this would help in attracting needed umpires for this summer's program.
-- Councilwoman Loretta Jones observed that there have been complaints about uncovered tires and junk cars on the lot at the RPM Car Care and Tire business on Chillicothe Street. Sheward responded the Jackson County Health Department has been made aware of the situation and has already reportedly fined the business for the uncovered tires.
-- Council voted unanimously to approve an emergency resolution authorizing the mayor or his designee to file an application for a J. Floyd Dixon grant, which would be used to purchase media equipment for the Lillian Jones Museum.