Members of Girl Scout Troop 30630 addressed the New Carlisle City Council Monday evening seeking permission to begin a book exchange, sometimes called a “little library” at Smith Park.

Scouts Paige Scott and Paeten Musgrove explained that it would be a “take a book, leave a book” box at the park. They were hoping to get a newspaper box donated from the Springfield News Sun to house their library.

“You can open the box and get a book and either leave a book or drop it back off when you’re done,” said Scout leader Amanda Blackburn. “A lot of kids use the park in the summer, and if they can’t walk across the street to the library, this is something that could be easily accessible.”

The box would be located either by the shelter or the shelter house. Blackburn said that her troop would conduct a book drive to initially stock the book box.

Blackburn said that the box would be secured, either by chains or bolting it to the concrete. City Manager Randy Bridge said that chains would be better than drilling into the concrete.

“I think this is a great idea,” said Council member Bill McIntire. The entire council echoed his approval.

Mayor Mike Lowrey announced that his Go Fund Me account for the New Carlisle Pool had already received over $2100 in donations in 11 days. He said that the funds raised would go for improvements to the buildings and the areas around the pool. He said that the city would also accept volunteers to help with the improvements.

Bridge warned that some of the work at the pool would have to be done by City employees to avoid a union grievance.

Council approved the budget appropriations for 2016 that must be submitted to the County Auditor’s office this month. One appropriation that got the attention of some council members was $93,623 budgeted for pool expenses.

Council members Ethan Reynolds and Bill Lindsey objected to that amount, stating that they thought it only cost the city about $50,000 to operate the pool for the season. City Finance Director Colleen Harris explained several times that the $93,623 were the total expenses budgeted for the pool based on past history. She said that the figure did not account for revenue generated by the pool.

“We have to provide our appropriations for 2016 to the County Auditor,” said Harris. “This is the total amount that we expect to spend on the pool.”

Bridge told council that these discussions should have come up during the work sessions on the budget, not at this time.

Reynolds and Lindsey were the only members voting against the appropriations.

An ordinance was also introduced amending the contract with Miami Valley Lighting, the company who operates the street lights throughout the city. Bridge said the city was informed that the 5% discount that they had received from Miami Valley Lighting would be discontinued at the end of the year.

“Miami Valley Lighting was an agent for DP&L Energy Resources, and they were giving the discount,” said Bridge. “DP&L Energy Resources is no longer in business, so we cannot get the discount.”

Reynolds and Lindsey were the only members voting against this ordinance.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of New Carlisle City Council will be on Monday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Smith Park Shelter house. That meeting will be immediately followed by the Town Hall meeting at 7:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

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