City OKs county’s current community action agency


Urbana City Council on Tuesday passed a resolution in support of the Community Action Organization of Delaware, Madison and Union Counties (CAODMU) being designated as the community action agency serving Champaign County.

“They stepped in to administer Community Services Block Grant funding at the time that Tri-County (Community Action) shut down (April 2014) and have been doing that on an interim basis,” said city Community Development Manager Doug Crabill. “They need endorsements from throughout the area they are serving in order to become the official agency to administer those funds.”

According to CAODMU Executive Director Rochelle Twining, all letters of endorsement received will be submitted by the nonprofit organization to the Ohio Development Services Agency, which determines which community action agency will be assigned to administer grant funds used to aid low-income individuals and families in a particular county. Currently, there are 50 different community action agencies serving the state’s 88 counties.

Crabill said to the best of his knowledge, no other agency has come forward to express interest in serving the county.

CAODMU, which served 1,519 households in the county in 2014, operates locally from its downtown Urbana office at 40 Monument Square, Suite 200.

“This organization already has a track record here,” said Council member Al Evans. “If they are designated as the grantee, then they would be able to continue administering the program without any bumps in the road. A new organization that would come in would have to get to know the clients.

“They are already here, they already know our people, and they are doing an excellent job,” he added.

Along with council’s recommendation, Mayor Bill Bean stated he will be writing a letter from the mayor’s office in support of CAODMU being designated the county’s community action agency.

In other business:

•The second reading of an ordinance amending ambulance service rates and charges was heard.

Prior to the second reading, Fire Chief Mark Keller informed council the ordinance was amended following the first reading. The ordinance no longer includes language stating accounts not paid within 30 days, that are turned over for collection through the legal process, shall bear an interest rate of 1.5 percent per month.

•Council approved the purchase of a roof-top air conditioning unit from Reliant Mechanical Inc. at a cost of $19,002. The new unit will replace the one currently servicing the engineer/zoning office, as well as the training room at the municipal building.

Crabill said the unit being replaced was installed prior to the municipal building’s expansion in 1996 and was the oldest unit still in service.

Director of Administration Kerry Brugger added the new unit will allow users to control the temperatures in each room using separate thermostats instead of both rooms being serviced by one thermostat.

•Evans expressed concern over yard sale signs littering the streets as he held up a sign he found prior to the meeting laying in the grass outside the municipal building.

In response to Evans’ question as to whether or not the city regulates the posting of yard sale signs, Crabill said, “If you are having a garage sale, you are allowed a sign on your lot where you are having the sale and nowhere else. It is illegal to post them on telephone poles, put them in the city right of way or tack them to the city’s traffic light poles.

“We remove hundreds of them a year,” he added.

•Brugger said taped video recordings of council meetings can now be viewed online via YouTube by searching “Urbana Ohio city council.”