Tecumseh Strategic Planning, Tillie Lane Flooding and Payday Lenders Discussed at Joint Meeting

The Tecumseh School Board, Bethel Township Trustees and the New Carlisle City Council held their quarterly joint meeting on Monday evening at Tecumseh High School. The purpose of the meeting is to allow each agency to be updated on what the other agencies are doing. Two county commissioners and State Representative Kyle Koehler were also in attendance.

Tecumseh Assistant Superintendent Paula Crew informed those assembled that the district is working on a strategic plan for capital outlay for the next three to five years. She said the district is looking for volunteers to serve on a committee to help the district plan its capital expenditures for the next few years. Residents interested in serving on this committee should contact the Board office.

Bethel Township Trustee Nancy Brown said that the township is accepting applications for a replacement for Township Fiscal Officer Melanie Cochran Dunbar who has announced her resignation. Dunbar will be working full-time for a financial planner.

“Over the years, Mel has been very frugal with our money,” said Trustee David Phares. “We hate to see her go, but, gosh, she’s got to go. It’s an advancement on her career.”

Brown was also asked about the possibility of a traffic light at Rt. 235 and Dille Rd. “ODOT said they would do traffic tests in December or January, but they haven’t yet,” said Brown. Crew said that the district is still having issues with buses trying to pull out onto 235 from Dille.

County Commissioner Rick Lohnes announced that the county has cut its budget by 3% because of reduced tax revenues. “We’re losing revenue from the Medicaid sales tax issue,” said Lohnes. “The state has provided us with some transition money to get us through a couple years.” He said the county’s budget will really be tight in 2020.

He also said that consultants will soon be coming in to discuss the county-wide 911 system. “We’re doing all this hoping that the City [of Springfield] will finally call and say ‘We want to combine and make this a county-wide 911 system.”

County Commissioner Lowell McGlothin also stated that the county will celebrate its bicentennial in April. He said that a committee has been formed and is planning events to help celebrate.

Crew asked Lohnes if the Educational Support Officers would be included in the new budget. “That has come up in a few discussions and I have expressed my adamant request to maintain those,” he said. No decision has been made yet.

Koehler said that he has introduced a bill regarding payday lenders. “Right now $75 million a year goes from Ohio residents to outside of the state of Ohio,” said Koehler. “I want that $75 million to go to the people who need it most, and those are what I would term the working poor.”

He said that the state began regulating payday lenders but explained that there is a massive “hole” that exists, so payday lenders are essentially operating with no regulation.

“There are 650+ payday lenders in Ohio, and not one of them are licensed as payday lenders.” He said that if the state passed regulations on barber shops that made it impossible for shops to operate, the barbers could say “we’re manicurists that also cut hair.” He said that is what payday lenders are doing.

Resident John Gauker asked the trustees and county commissioners if anything could be done about the constant flooding on Tillie Lane. He said the problem is getting worse. Lohnes said that the main problem is drainage from nearby fields. “One family has allowed someone to do a swail that will eliminate drainage from that direction,” he said, “but the owners of the land wouldn’t do it.” He also said the county engineer isn’t sure if he is allowed to do the work on private property. He said that there is also drainage that runs under Route 40. “Now you’ve got ODOT involved,” said Lohnes.

Lohnes said that the county is still looking into how something can be done.

The three agencies meet every fifth Monday. The next meeting will be on April 30 at Smith Park Shelter House at 7:00 p.m.

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