HUBER HEIGHTS — During the May 9 Huber Heights City Council meeting, Mayor Tom McMasters presented a certificate to Zoning Code Enforcement Officer Don Millard in recognition of his selection as the City of Huber Heights Employee of the First Quarter. City Manager Rob Schommer said Millard is good at effectively and amicably resolving zoning enforcement issues.
The Council voted two to six against a measure which would permit Huber Heights residents to keep their garbage containers in front or beside their homes. The action ended months of debate concerning this issue.
Council members Richard Shaw and Tyler Starline supported the measure.
Shaw said, “When I was looking at homes in Huber Heights, I did not look to see if trash cans were beside or in front of the homes. Trash can placement will not cause property values to go down.”
Council Member Smith voted against the measure, saying, “I don’t know why we would ever want to lower our standards and change the aesthetic of our city by allowing trash cans in front of the homes. It is not acceptable. The solution is to educate our residents rather than change the ordinance because it is easier. The feedback I am getting from residents is to keep the law the same.”
Several council members agreed that the public needs to be better informed concerning city ordinances, particularly those governing trash removal. Council Members Smith and Shaw said residents should be informed of their trash options.
Smith asked McMasters why a discussion item she asked to be added to the council work session agenda was not added. She said she had the support of two other council members, the only requirement in the rules of council, but her item of weed control on city property was denied a place on the work session agenda because of lack of “read-aheads”, which were not required in the rules of council. Other topics which Smith wanted to discuss included city goals and the city’s 2015 Plan. McMasters said, “It is an important part of the agenda to have as much material as possible so that attendees can prepare for the discussion. This requirement is not that onerous.”
Starline agreed with Smith that the concurrence of three council members is all that should be required to put an item on the council’s work session agenda.
In other business, the council unanimously approved the selection of Ron Eifert as an ex-officio member of the Huber Heights Parks and Recreation Board through March 31, 2019.
Huber Heights businesses will now be able to sell garden supplies from April 1 to September 30, and snow removal equipment from September 1 to February 28, following a unanimous council vote. The same vote slightly changed zoning rules governing car ports.
Council approved spending $20,000 to $40,000 for a computer-aided alert system for the city’s new fire station in another unanimous vote. The vote also waived the competitive bidding process. Smith explained that the waiver was necessary so that the new system would be able to communicate with systems already installed at the city’s other two fire houses. The third fire house will need a system from the same company as the systems in the other two fire houses.
The council unanimously approved funds to repair a traffic control signal box which was recently damaged when hit by a car. The city will eventually be reimbursed for the expenditure from the motorist’s insurance company, according to City Manager Rob Schommer.
The council spent 30 minutes discussing the 2015 costs involved in operating the Stuart and Mimi Rose Music Center at the Heights. City Manager Schommer said revenues from items like concessions and parking reimburse the city for its Rose Music Center operating expenses. There is an issue regarding one-time capital expenditures on the $19.3 million Rose Music Center project and how to report these in the city’s financial statements. Schommer referred council members to the city’s web site for its treatment of Rose Music Center expenditures.
The Huber Heights City Council will next meet at 7 pm on Monday, May 23 in the Huber Heights City Hall, 6131 Taylorsville Road.
Reach Chuck Smith at 937-684-8983 0r on Twitter @HH_Courier.