St. Paris Village Council to hold work session on old Graham school district property


ST. PARIS – The St. Paris Village Council will hold a work session prior to its next meeting regarding the potential purchase of the former Graham junior/senior high school building, 370 E. Main St.

During Monday’s meeting, council approved holding the work session at 6:30 p.m. prior to the Nov. 16 meeting.

After approving the work session, council opened the floor to the public for questions. When asked if any quotes had been received to demolish the property, Village Administrator Joe Sampson said two companies were contacted, but he had not heard back from either company. He added he was also going to contact two other companies council member Terry Ervin suggested.

The Graham Local School board started the process of selling the property to the village in August after the village offered the school district $15,000 for the property and all its buildings on the four acres of land.

Mayor Joe Reneer and multiple council members held a special work session Oct. 29 to tour the building and grounds. No action was taken towards a purchase during Monday’s meeting.

Ervin encouraged residents not be able to attend the Nov. 16 work session to contact council members or village administration if they have any suggestions or ideas on what the village can do to the property prior to the work session.

Council to hold work session next week

Council also agreed to hold a work session next week to discuss a state bill related to the municipal income tax.

Reneer explained that House Bill 5 was passed and signed by Gov. John Kasich last December and the effects of the bill are just reaching municipalities.

“It is how municipalities do their income tax,” Reneer said. He noted this will not change people’s income tax credit or how much tax is charged by the village and is simply updating ordinances and paperwork.

Sampson said the changes are supposed to be able to simplify the way municipal income tax is collected. The village is obligated to pass an ordinance related to municipal income tax before Jan. 1, 2016.

Council agreed to hold a work session at 7:30 p.m. on Monday at the municipal building with the village’s attorney to answer questions about the impact of House Bill 5. The location of the work session will be contingent on resident turnout.

Public hearing on annexation to be held next month

Sampson said a public hearing about bringing land into the village will be held at 10 a.m. on Dec. 8 at the Champaign County Commissioners’ office, 1512 S. U.S. Highway 68.

Last December, council approved signing an annexation petition started by the First Church of God St. Paris. According to an Oct. 8 resolution establishing the public hearing, the property being annexed into the village is 23.471 acres from Johnson Township. A map of the annexation plat shows the property includes parts of the township east of the village to Heck Hill Road.

During the Oct. 19 meeting, council approved a resolution establishing services that would be furnished to property owners in the petition if the annexation is successful.

Sampson explained the open hearing is part of the annexation process. Following the hearing, Sampson said the commissioners will take action and notify the village who would have the option to accept or deny the petition through the three reading process.

Fire district, Red Cross to install smoke alarms

The Johnson-St. Paris Fire District is teaming up with the Northern Miami Valley Ohio Chapter of the American Red Cross to provide smoke alarms to village residents this month.

On Nov. 14, the two departments will go canvassing across the village to help homeowners install smoke alarms and replace batteries in alarms. Reneer said residents who know they need a smoke alarm can contact Kim Pence at (937) 508-6395 to be put on a list of residences the entities will stop at.

As part of the effort, volunteers are also needed to be able to contact each home and the two mobile home parks. Anyone interested in canvassing needs to contact Pence and meet at 9:30 a.m. at the firehouse, 403 W. Main St., on Nov. 14. Lunch will be provided at 12:30 p.m. before volunteers continue working.

In other action:

•Council approved a quote for $4,730 to address 10 water main breaks unless they receive a lower bid for the same work.

•Council member Jana Crawford said a barrel will be in the municipal building to accept canned goods for the Caring Kitchen.

•Reneer reminded residents that Christmas in the Village will be held Dec. 5 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

By Nick Walton

[email protected]

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.

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