CLAYTON — City council voted August 7 to amend its codified ordinances to adopt the most current edition of the Ohio Fire Code.
“What we have before you tonight is just an update in language to our current ordinance,” said Fire Chief Brian Garver. “The Ohio Fire Code is updated every three or four years by the Ohio Fire Marshal’s Office. The state and the county in their ordinances have adopted the language of the current edition. What that does is allow us to stay current at all times and it also doesn’t force us to bring this ordinance in front of you every year. Instead of using the 2011 edition now we are using the 2015 edition. That’s the only change we make in the ordinance every three or four years, so we are just recommending that you put into the ordinance the current language so that it doesn’t have to come before council again for a change in language until the next update.”
Council also update codified ordinance section 1179.14A4 regarding its regulation of freestanding digital signs.
“Council earlier in 2014 upon the recommendation of the planning commission had enacted a digital sign ordinance, and the planning commission held its own public hearing on that and made certain recommendations to council for approval,” said Law Director Martina Dillon. “One of the provisions was that the maximum brightness during the day of those digital signs should be no more than 5,000 nits but that the signs had to be dimmed to 1,000 nits 30 minutes before sunset until 30 minutes after sunrise. Unfortunately when the legislation came before council it read 30 minutes before sunrise and it should read 30 minutes after sunrise in accordance with what the planning commission had recommended.”
Council also passed a resolution to approve an administrative policy regarding its ‘Community Support Fund.’ Last year council added a new line item to its budget for community support. Every year various individuals and organizations seeking donations to support a variety of public purpose funds approach the city.
“In the past we always took monies from different areas of the budget in order to accomplish that,” said City Manager Rick Rose. “This year we asked for a specific fund and specific policy as to how we would distribute some of those funds.”
According to Rose, Law Director Martina Dillon was asked to look at this issue to see what the city could provide by law and what could be done to accommodate such requests.
“Basically, it is legal for the city to make donations for public purposes, so this policy was written to help support that and to give a general guideline for public purpose,” Rose said. “Many times we do get very worthy causes, but there are many that are individual benefit and we do not usually honor those.”
Most recently as far as public purpose funds, the city was asked to support the Randolph Township Historical Society and the city did agree to do so. The request was one of the larger requests coming in at $1,000. Most donations requested are for amounts ranging from $100 to $250 for requests by the school board or schools. The city tries to look through those requests to make sure they support a large portion of the community before the city would donate funds.
Vice Mayor Tim Gorman asked Rose if he had an idea of what the amount of funding would be placed into the Community Support Fund. According to Rose the amount would be set at $3,500. The issue would be brought before council on an annual basis for consideration.
“The policy states that we do not have to spend any or all of that money. Just because we have it on a line item does not mean we have to spend that money,” Rose said. “We can choose for any reason if we don’t believe the request meets the policy or is worthwhile, that we do not have to donate the money.”
Gorman asked if money from the line item was not spent during a calendar year if it would roll over to the next year. Rose recommended that the line item be set at $3,500 each year by using a carryover of any unused funds and adding to it to keep it at the same level on an annual basis.
“If we find at some point that it is too much or too little then during budget discussions council could reconsider the amount,” Rose said.
Rose would be designated to consider each request unless he delegates the responsibility to another staff member. The reason for that is so that each request would not have to become before council for consideration if said requests are in the $100 to $250 range. Those types of requests would fall within the authority of the city manager. Rose said that policy could change if that is needed, but he pointed out that in his 12 years with the city it has been handled this way with no problems or issues.
The city has negotiated with DATV to air its council meetings on Channel 6 (Time Warner) on the first and third Saturday of each month at 8:30 a.m. and again at 10:30 a.m. and on the following Monday at 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.