Council Gets Updates From Department Heads

The New Carlisle Fire Department appears to be turning around based on the report by Interim Chief Ritter at the council meeting on Monday evening.  The chief reported that the department responded to 62 medical and 4 fire calls thus far in September.  

In his report, the chief stated that the department has regained three former employees who are fire fighter / paramedics with two of them living within the city.  The department also added a new fire fighter / EMT who also lives within the city limits.  This brings three new members that will be available for calls.

In response to questions by council members, Ritter stated morale “is going very well”.  He also reported that the department will host an Open House October 8th to recognize Fire Prevention Week.  

City Manager Randy Bridge thanked the chief for stepping up.  “I want to thank you for doing service to the community that you obviously love,” stated Bridge.  He responded to questions from council noting that advertising for a new chief will be coming now that things at the firehouse have settled into a routine.

Council member Ethan Reynolds questioned a $600 payment for “bed bug treatment”.  Finance Director Colleen Harris explained that the treatment was done at the fire house in August.

Harris provided a report regarding the pool costs for 2015.  In the report, Harris stated that the pool expenses were $3,126.99 over the income this year.  She anticipates additional utility bills and will give a final loss report next month.  

Council approved $36,000 from the general fund to cover the anticipated costs of the pool this year based on the costs last year.  After the meeting, Harris explained to the New Carlisle News that the pool did require around $40,000 last year from the general fund.  She explained that two year passes were sold in 2013 limiting the income last year.  This year the city sold one year passes and focused on cutting costs to attempt to come in on or as close to actual income as possible.  

Council will discuss the future of the pool once all of the figures for the expenses are in.  Based on current figures, the city may be able to reallocate over $30,000 in general funds that were encumbered for the pool this year.

In an update on the Twin Creeks parcels, Bridge reported that only one parcel sold at Sheriff Sale.  The city will have 25 parcels for sale once the county completes all of the processes involved with the transfer to the city.  The city participated in the Community Reutilization Program which allows them to now take possession of the property.

The city manager will present a full report to the council once the paperwork is completed.  The city currently plans to sell the parcels rather than using a realtor.  There is one parcel that remains to be sold at the next round of Sheriff Sales.

Deputies assigned to the city will be getting another cruiser as reported by the city manager.  The city will purchase a cruiser from Moorefield Township for $12,000.  Bridge reported that the vehicle alone is valued at $10-$12,000.  With all of the equipment installed for use by the first responders, he said the vehicle is well worth the expense.  

Residents attending the meeting expressed concerns for the high cost of legal fees that appeared again on the budget report.  The city paid $11,718.15 in June and $6,372.25 in July.  Bridge explained that some of the June costs were associated with the fire department investigation, noting that Attorney Dinkler was present for most of the interviews.  

When asked about the cost of services from Dinkler’s firm, Bridge responded that they are $165 per hour.  He noted that the experience of the firm was a determining factor in the selection of this law firm.

In a report provided by the Clark County Sheriff’s Department, the City of New Carlisle had 449 crimes reported between January of this year and the end of August.  For the same period last year the total was 406 which were down from 539 in 2013.

Bethel Township had 755 for the same time period this year, 750 last year and 829 in 2013.  Springfield Township topped the charts with 780 this year, 886 last year and 983 in 2013.

Of note in the report for the city, there were 16 emergency 911 hang up calls last month.  Deputies took 23 reports in the city with an additional 30 taken by road patrol officers for the city.

Howard Kitko was asked if the city could use volunteers to paint the welcome signs for the city.  Mr. Kitko stated that he was getting quotes on the cost to repaint, however if a group of volunteers wished to paint using a good quality paint and council agrees to the colors, the signs could be prepped and repainted by a volunteer group.  The city would want more information on anyone interested in doing the work.

The city is in need of volunteers to help prepare the beds and plant the 500 plus bulbs purchased by the city as part of a $250 Keep Clark County Beautiful grant.  To help with this project, contact the city offices.

Volunteers are also needed for the Festival of Flight annual event to be held October 2, 3 and 4.  This year the festival will feature a “Blessing of the Badges” ceremony.  The car show will be held on Friday with the parade on Saturday at 11 am.

The next council meeting will be Monday, October 5th.  A presentation of the Key to the City will be held to honor the Heritage of Flight Committee.  Meetings are held at the Smith Park Shelter House and begin at 7 pm.

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