HUBER HEIGHTS — On Monday, the Huber Heights City Council approved a resolution of intent to use eminent domain if necessary to purchase land next to the city well field for an additional well made necessary by the city’s water softening project. The 17.8239 acre plot is part of the Schwab estate on Rip Rap Road. The city is in negotiations with the heirs of the estate on purchasing the land, but is beginning the process to appropriate the property in case negotiations break down. The vote was 7-1 with Janell Smith voting no.
Council then passed to second reading an ordinance that would approve the city using eminent domain to purchase the land. In response to a question from Councilman Richard Shaw, City Law Director Gerald McDonald said the city has offered to provide an easement for access from Rip Rap Road to the remainder of the property. McDonald also said negotiations with the family are ongoing.
In other items, council:
- Approved supplemental appropriations of $60,000 for dispatch overtime, which will be offset by lower than expected expenditures in the police salaries; $1,000 for Marigold Festival expenses; and $20,000 for cleaning and painting of the aquatic center activity structure.
- Approved a motion to begin the process of amending the city’s zoning code in regard to required pre-sale inspection of exteriors of houses. The changes, which make inspections voluntary instead of mandatory, will be sent to the planning commission for review. Recent court decisions have ruled mandatory inspections by governments unconstitutional.
- Approved a resolution calling for bids for asphalt preservation in various parking lots in the city.
- Heard a presentation from Montgomery County Treasurer Carolyn Rice, who explained the county’s program to collect delinquent property taxes. She told council that 1.4% of Huber Heights properties are behind in tax payments totaling around $1.8 million. She urged residents who are behind on their taxes contact the treasurer’s office to arrange a payment plan.
- Listened to resident Michael Layton of Trowbridge Way lodge complaints about speed limit signs that were removed and not replaced on Trowbridge Way; about cars illegally parking on city sidewalks; and about changes in the Huber Height Courier. Mayor Jeff Gore said the city could not answer questions about the newspaper, but Schommer did say the speed limit signs would be replaced as soon as possible and the city would make a point to check on specific areas where illegal parking on sidewalks was reported.
- Was invited to an open house at Carriage Trails Senior Villas by Cathy Campbell of the St. Mary Development Corp. The open house will take place Sept. 13 from 4-7 p.m. with the public invited from 6-7 p.m. This is the second phase of the development that offers affordable housing for seniors.
- Listened to Schommer explain that a recent increase in trash collection fees from Republic Services was in error. The portion of the increase listed on residents’ bills for trash cart rental is not part of the company’s contract with the city and will be credited to residents’ accounts. A second increase for monthly service from $10.55 to $10.76 is correct. In response to a question from Smith, Schommer said city residents can use their own trash cans as long as they meet specifications and do not have to use the Republic carts.
- Schommer also said meetings continue on the city’s strategic plans for parks and the city has received notice that it has been approved for a grant for a new playground structure.
City council’s next meeting will be Sept. 10, 7 p.m., at city hall. Council’s next work session will be held Sept. 4, 6 p.m., at city hall. Both meetings are open to the public.
Reach Dave Lindeman at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @HHCourier.