HUBER HEIGHTS — Huber Heights will be adding three firefighters/paramedics in the near future.
City council Monday night agreed to a staffing plan for the fire department which includes hiring two new employees by October of this year and one more by April of 2019.
Council member Glenn Otto questioned the need for the additional firefighters.
While saying he supported the fire department, Otto said he wondered whether the money for the new positions might be better spent in other areas.
Citing “promises made, promises kept” Otto said the city promised to keep current staffing levels until 2025 when it asked voters to pass additional taxes.
City Manager Rob Schommer said the additional firefighters were needed to keep the same level of service for residents and said the money for the new firefighters was not coming from the general fund, but was coming from available funds in the fire department’s capital budget. The three new firefighters will allow full staffing at all three fire stations.
Fire Chief Mark Ashworth added that the fire department has seen a 43 percent increase in call volume since 2009 and has been awarded $1.2 million in grants in recent years, which have helped make money available for the new firefighters. He said the additional staffing would mean no new staffing would be needed for seven to 10 years barring any unforeseen circumstances.
The resolution passed 5-1, with Otto voting no. Council Members Richard Shaw and Janell Smith were not at Monday’s meeting.
When the positions are filled, it will bring the fire department’s number of firefighters to 39.
Council also held three public hearings Monday night.
The first would amend the city’s zoning to include a ban on cultivation and dispensing medical marijuana.
The second concerned a rezoning from business to planned commercial at 6007 Old Troy Pike. If approved, the current building at that address will be razed and a Casey’s General Store and gas station will be constructed.
The third hearing concerned rezoning a property at 4370 Powell Road from planned public private buildings and ground to residential. The lot is owned by a church but is located behind a residence and the zoning change would make the lot and the residence zoning the same.
All three ordinances were passed to second reading and will be addressed at the next council meeting.
Also on Monday night, council:
- Approved seeking bids for the 2018 sidewalk replacement program, which will include work on the following streets: Bascombe Drive, Chambersburg Road, Charing Court, Claybeck Drive, Cliffstone Drive, Cliffwood Place, Handel Court, Harshmanville Road, Hinckley Court, Hubbard Court, Hubbard Drive, Innsdale Place, Leycross Drive, Longford Road, and Taylorsville Road.
- Approved solicitation of bids for the 2018 street improvements program. The preliminary street list for the program includes: Belmar Drive from Shady Oak to Beecham; Beth Road from Bavaria to Powell; Carmelita Drive from Charlesworth to Cronk; Firegate Court from Old Troy Access to the cul-de-sac; Harshmanville Road from Blackshear to Buckman; Keywest Drive from Longfellow to Kautz; Old Troy Access Road from Charlesgate to Waynegate; Old Troy Pike from approximately 125 feet south of Shull to the beginning of new pavement; Peachview Place from Longford to the cul-de-sac; Powell Road from Bellefontaine to Brandt Pike; Serpentine Road from Stonehurst to Stonehurst; Shalamar Drive from Stonehurst to Summerdale; Shalamar Drive from Summerdale to the cul-de-sac; Springgate Court from Old Troy Pike Access Road to cul-de-sac; Stoneycreek Drive from Millridge to Marbury; and Tibet Drive from Rittenhouse to Harshmanville.
- Passed a resolution updating policies for usage at the Eichelberger Amphitheater.
- Approved a resolution authorizing the city manager to advertise for bids for the water system pressure upgrade north of Interstate 70.
- Approved a resolution to seek bids for a maintenance and repair of HVAC systems at all city-owned buildings. In the past, the city has had different contracts for different buildings and hopes to save money by including all the buildings in one contract.
- Moved to second reading ordinances concerning changes in the city’s income tax code as required by the state and changing wording in the enforcement provision of the city’s tax code concerning landlords.
Council’s next meeting will be Feb. 26, 7 p.m. at city hall. Council will hold a work session on Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. at city hall.
Reach Dave Lindeman at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.
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