Urbana City Council on Tuesday waived the three-readings rule and passed on emergency basis a resolution allowing for the acceptance of the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Grant that helps provide services to crime victims in the local community.
Under the terms of the grant, council agreed to accept $41,526.64 in federal funds awarded to the city’s law department through the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to be used to support services to crime victims and witnesses in the jurisdiction of the Champaign County Municipal Court. In return, the city will provide a local match of 20 percent, which amounts to $8,305.33.
Prior to council’s vote on the resolution, Director of Law Breanne Parcels said the VOCA Grant program underwent a few changes this year.
“As far as the match, the match percentage has gone down from 25 percent to 20 percent, and they are now allowing the VOCA money to be used for fringe benefits, so we are hoping council will act expeditiously so we can get someone hired to keep doing the advocacy work as we’ve been down a full-time staff member since February.”
The resolution notes the city has received and administered the VOCA grant since 2000. The funds have been used toward wages, benefits and related equipment for a victim advocate.
A resolution authorizing preliminary approval between the city and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for the repair of the Miami Street bridge underwent a first reading.
Community Development Manager Doug Crabill said the bridge, which crosses Dugan Run in front of the Depot Coffee House, is inspected and maintained by ODOT, and the project will be funded entirely by the state.
“They didn’t provide much details as to what the issue is,” he said. “They are either refacing the bridge abutments or fixing scouring issues, which is, from what I understand, material that is washing out near the abutments that could potentially damage the abutments if not dealt with.”
The bridge work is expected to take place next year.
School site update
Director of Administration Kerry Brugger addressed the current communications taking place between the city and Urbana City Schools concerning the proposed construction of a pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school facility on Community Drive near the Champaign Family YMCA.
Brugger said the school district submitted its preliminary site plan to the city on Oct. 2, and it has been reviewed by various city departments. A summary of the review, he said, has been submitted to Fanning Howey, the firm hired by the school district to handle the architectural work for the project.
The next step in the process, according to Brugger, will take place on Monday when Fanning Howey is expected to present an updated preliminary site plan to the Urbana Planning Commission.
The planning commission meeting, open to the public, will be held at 6 p.m. Monday in the municipal building’s fire training room.
In other business:
•Brugger reminded residents that cemetery cleanup will run through Nov. 21, and leaf pickup will begin the first of November and run through the month. He added the city’s compost facility, 1261 Muzzy Road, is open through November from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
•Council heard the second reading of an ordinance that would amend the city’s official zoning map by rezoning the Dollar Tree property on East U.S. Route 36 from its current B-1 zoning district in Urbana Township to a B-2 general business zoning district within city limits.
Crabill said a public meeting was held on Tuesday concerning the zoning amendment and, to date, the neighboring property owners haven’t voiced any concerns over the issue. He also stated the property owner has no objections to the zoning change being made.
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.
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