Jackson Center’s monthly expenses exceed income

JACKSON CENTER – Expenses for the village of Jackson Center exceeded income by more than $255,000 in July, Jackson Center Village Council learned during its Aug. 24 meeting.

The village’s main expenses included $60,000 for the new pickleball courts, updated lighting and resurfacing the tennis courts; a final payment of more than $175,000 to Tom’s Construction for various projects; and a check for approximately $83,000 to Westerheide Construction for the pool reconstruction project.

July income tax receipts were $86,495, which was $33,559 less than 2019. To date, the village’s income tax receipts are down almost 6 percent.

When considering the village’s income and expenses for the year, Jackson Center’s ending cash balance is almost 10 percent less than this time last year.

In other action, council had the first reading of a resolution to accept the amounts and rates as determined by the budget commission, to authorize the necessary tax levies, to certify them to the county auditor and to declare an emergency.

In the Wages & Benefits Committee report, Ken Gloyeske said the committee met Aug. 10 and recommended there be no cost of living raise for 2020, in order to see how the COVID-19 pandemic affects the budget.

Gloyeske also said the committee recommended an increase in salary for the economic development director and zoning enforcement officer, effective Jan. 1, 2021. An increase of $2,000 for the economic development director would increase the annual salary to $9,000, and an increase of $1,250 for the zoning enforcement officer would increase the annual salary to $7,250.

Gloyeske said the increases are warranted because of an increase in workload for the departments. Mayor Scott Klopfenstein said he was in favor of the increases.

In the Safety Committee report, Klopfenstein praised Police Chief Chuck Wirick and Fire Chief Jerry Davis for their contributions to a memorial ceremony for Larry Sprague, who was a member of the police and fire departments.

Davis thanked the village, Administrator Bruce Metz, council and Wirick for being a part of the ceremony for Sprague and for the support that was given to both departments. Botkins, Maplewood, Anna and Port Jefferson mutual aid departments participated along the route to the graveside ceremony.

Ed Maxwell, zoning enforcement officer and economic development director, suggested Jackson Center set up a COVID-19 small business relief grant program like Minster. The village of Minster used approximately $80,000 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funds it wasn’t going to use to fund the grant program for small businesses in its community.

Maxwell said Jackson Center would have approximately $25,000 available through the CARES Act. Any money the village doesn’t spend by the end of the fiscal year would need to be returned.

Jackson Center created an application based on the one Minster used for its small business relief grant program. Council voted to move forward with the program as presented.

Maxwell reported the winning bid for the Leininger warehouse was the village’s second-best scenario as the new owners are willing to work with the Family Life Center/Jackson Center United Methodist Church and the village to allow a right of way from Pike Street to Davis Street. There also will be the benefit of additional parking for community and school events as well.

The community has used privately owned property for access in that area, and the new solution will prevent that intrusion. The new owners of the warehouse want to incorporate the blacktopping of their private parking off Pike Street when the village does the project.

The village and the Community Improvement Corporation closed on the sale of Carnival Square property on Davis Street on Aug. 11. TRED Properties allowed the village use of the property for clean-up day on Aug. 22 and will allow the property to be used for other community events, such as Community Days, that take place prior to its breaking ground on the business center.

TRED Properties has three years to start construction and its Community Reinvestment Act will not start until it’s ready for construction. The owner/builder is a little behind due to increased business. He had planned on three homes and the business center this year but already has started nine homes.

The village closed on Trusted Real Estate and village swap on July 23. The village has given Trusted Transportation enough time for its evacuation of the Old Marathon site until it can get into its new building on South Main.

The village will work on extending the right of way on West College from its current termination point to the east side of the Village Pantry property. The village plans to establish a replat with a storm water easement on the east side of the old Marathon property from Pike Street to College Street before any new change in ownership. The other four property owners affected regarding the new 24 inch storm water pipe easement to the new detention area that have not been contacted, so far, have been very receptive to the project.

The village continues to work with C&M Properties for location of a new detention area in the southeast portion of the village. The village is looking into an alternate location as the first location apparently has stalled in negotiations.

The village has been in contact with possible new business opportunities for the old Marathon site. If anyone has a suggestion or contact, they should contact Maxwell.

A local resident provided a lead on a business looking to expend its coffee shop/bakery/candy store. When contacted it already had procured a second location for the business but when hearing what Jackson Center has to offer was interested in giving the village a hard look for expansion in the future, possibly as early as 2021.

The previous site of Primary Eyecare has a potential buyer. The owner would like to sell if possible and will let the village know on availability for a new business should their initial buyer decline the location. Dr. John Beigel, of Primary Eyecare, thanked Jackson Center and its residents for their many years of support and noted it was strictly a business decision to reduce the amount of locations that caused the closure of the office.

The five-unit condos on East College Street have filed all their paperwork and obtained the necessary permits. Construction was temporarily delayed as they qualified for a commercial CRA instead of a residential CRA. The state must approve those agreements before construction can start. At least one unit has been spoken for. The builder/owner still is interested in additional locations for these type of rental units.

Maxwell met with the Jackson Center Housing Council on Aug. 18. Five of the six active commercial CRAs have added an additional payroll of $23,285,616. Village income tax increased by $349,284. Recent CRAs for Trusted Transportation, TRED Properties and Ratermann Builders are not included in this reporting.

J.C. Historical Society on North Main has obtained permits for its addition to the relocated museum. Village employees have assisted the society in the site preparation. It hopes to start soon on the addition to allow the emptying of its old site on West Pike Street. The village has a couple of items stored there now with more space available as the move is completed.

Jackson Center United Methodist Church has purchased the property at 206 E. Pike St. The house will be torn down in the next few weeks. Eventually, it will become additional parking to relieve street congestion during church and downtown events. The village hopes to assist by providing excess top soil for fill if available from other projects.

The 2020 census figures continue to lag for Jackson Center. Office staff have been very good about promoting through newsletter articles, Facebook posts and village sign announcements, Maxwell said. All efforts have helped, but there will still need a lot of cooperation next few months as in-person reporting has started with social distancing. Jackson Center is at 57.1%, Jackson Township is at 63.7%, Shelby County is at 72.5%, Ohio is at 68.1% and the nation is at 64.0%. Most comparable, neighboring villages are between 67.9% to 87.1%.

Choice One has several projects that it is working on for the village including a layout for the new parking area at Main and Pike to maximize parking spots and entrance and egress locations.

Elder Theater is reopening to movies as soon as new releases are available. Maxwell asked residents to encourage friends and neighbors to attend when it opens and enjoy a movie with some popcorn. As Shelby County’s only movie theater, it is an asset that the village needs to remain viable, he said.

Metz reported the Electric Department is helping on concrete pours, Ben is attending Lineman School for two weeks, the department is upgrading tennis/pickleball court lights to LED and working on stand-by generators at West Pike and the water tower.

The Street Department is working on sidewalk repairs on College Street, Rick attended a Housing Council meeting, and the department is working on Tiger Trail Park future drive and parking area preparation. At trash day and clean-up afterwards, everyone was pretty good at emptying their own stuff.

The Parks Department is watering plants, mowing and spraying.

Metz reported he attended a weekly COVID-19 update by Shelby County emergency management agency, attended a Housing Council meeting, attended online Rural Community Assistance Partnership training on private property line issues and replacement programs and attended a Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership board meeting.

Metz is working on effects of the ending of the Plastipak agreement on the future of water and sewer rates, working with Maxwell on several economic development projects and working on the 2021 appropriation budget that will include the $700,000 grant from the Community Development Block Grant for the village’s neighborhood revitalization project next year.

Metz reported the village still in the process of applying for $500,000 from the Ohio Public Works Commission, $250,000 from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and a zero interest loan from the OPWC in the amount of $233,000. The OPWC and ODNR applications go in on Oct. 1, and the village will not find out until December whether it will be awarded the monies or not. The CDBG monies and the OPWC and ODNR monies would be used for a water main upgrade on East Pike from Parkview to the corporation limit.

On the south side of the road there will be sidewalk installed, and the road will be widened all the way out there. On West Pike the village will do the same thing from Leo Street to Rising Sun, and the west side will get the curb and gutter and sidewalk.

There will be baseball and softball fields constructed at Tiger Trail Park, and the paving will consist of the following streets: North Fork, South Fork, Maple Street, Oak Street and Back 40. The walking track also will be extended around the newly constructed ball fields, and there will be another parking lot installed close to the new ball fields.

Metz said he would like to move forward with a storm water rate study to be performed by Choice One Engineering.

Metz reported the Junior American Club will not use the Family Life Center until January, so the village will continue to use the Family Life Center to hold council meetings. If anyone doesn’t want to attend a meeting in person, they may call Metz, and he will put them on speaker phone.