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Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio

Local Government

County to increase sewer rates

By Cheryl Splain, KnoxPages.com Reporter

MOUNT VERNON — Residents using the county's sewer services will see an increase in rates on their July statements. The increase affects residents in Apple Valley, Howard and Pleasant View Acres in Monroe Township. Water rates will remain the same.

“The sewer fund is drastically in the red for 2017,” said Jeff Pickrell, county water/wastewater superintendent, regarding the need for the increase. “It looks like projections show that by 2019 the sewer fund will be in the black; maybe sooner. [Right now,] we're dipping into the reserve. Instead of putting money in the reserve for major future projects, we are taking it away.”

Beginning with the May 20 through June 19 usage cycle, the base sewer rate will increase to $18.34. Base rates for 2018-21 will be $20.84, $23.34, $25.84 and $28.34, respectively. There are 2,919 customers on the Apple Valley/Howard system and 49 in Pleasant View Acres.

For Apple Valley and Howard residents, the overage rate will increase by 25 cents to $4 for every 1,000 gallons after 4,000 gallons. Pickrell said the overage increase will affect about 50 percent of users. Apple Valley and Howard residents will continue to see the debt service user rate of $12.89 on their bill.

Residents last saw a rate increase in 2011. Prior to that, a five-year gradual increase was in place. Commissioner Teresa Bemiller said the increases were suspended when the new water treatment plant went into operation.

Pickrell said that from what he has been told, wastewater officials recommend putting back between 15 percent and 20 percent of the operating budget each year for major capital expenses. “Obviously, we're not doing that,” he said.

“This was the minimum,” said Jason Booth, county administrator. “We looked at all of the numbers to get us where we need to be. We're still going to be digging into this fund for the next two years. Jeff believes there are some efficiencies that can be implemented that will also help.”

Pickrell agreed. “We'll look at operational costs, things we can control to be a little bit more efficient with our funds,” he said.

Warrants issued for Muni Court no-shows

MOUNT VERNON - Samantha M. Mele, 24 of Centerburg, failed to appear for her scheduled probation violation hearing in Mount Vernon Municipal Court. The Court issued a warrant for her arrest with county and adjoining county radius and set bond in the amount of $10,000 cash or surety without the application of the 10% provision. The Court forfeited her preciously posted bond.

Jeffrey A. Middleton, 35 of Mount Vernon, failed to appear for his scheduled pretrial hearing. The Court issued a warrant for his arrest with county and adjoining county radius and set bond in the amount of $2,500 cash or surety without the application of
the 10% provision.

The following cases were resolved before Judge John Thatcher Monday. 

Shawna M. Posey, 30 of Mount Vernon, changed her pleas and the Court found her guilty of four counts of petty theft. The Court sentenced Posey to pay court costs only and to serve 90 days in jail with credit for 28 days served, concurrently, on each count.

Hunter L. Phillips, 23 of Mount Vernon, changed his plea and the Court found him guilty of domestic violence. The Court sentenced Phillips to pay court costs only and to serve 84 days in jail with credit for 84 days served.

Joshua J. Lemley, 39 of Fredericktown, changed his plea and the Court found him guilty of disorderly conduct, persisting. The Court sentenced Lemley to pay court costs only, serve 30 days in jail with 11 days suspended and credit for 19 days served, and placed him on two years of probation.

Conor C. Pollock, 23 of Fredericktown, changed his plea and the Court found him guilty of criminal damaging and disorderly conduct. For the criminal damaging conviction, the Court sentenced Pollock to serve 90 days in jail with credit for time served, and placed him on two years community control, and for the disorderly conduct conviction ordered him to pay a fine of $150 plus court costs.

Aaron W. Fortune, 27 of Mount Vernon, changed his plea and the Court found him guilty of driving under a financial responsibility suspension. The Court sentenced him to pay a fine of $200 plus court costs.

Amanda M. Riel, 26 of Mount Vernon, changed her plea and the Court found her guilty of petty theft. The Court sentenced Riel to pay court costs only and serve three days in jail with credit for three days served.

Jason W. Fancelli, 37 of Mount Vernon, changed his plea and the Court found him guilty of disorderly conduct. The Court sentenced Fancelli to pay a fine of $150 plus court costs.

Scott L. Reynolds, 39 of Mount Vernon, changed his pleas and the Court found him guilty of petty theft and possession of drug abuse instruments. The Court sentenced Reynolds to pay court costs only and to serve 60 days in jail, concurrently, on both
convictions.

Kristy F. Roesing, 27 of Mount Vernon, changed her plea and the Court found her guilty of petty theft. The Court sentenced Roesing to pay court costs only, serve 180 days in jail with 175 days suspended, placed her on two years of probation, and ordered her to take a social responsibility class.

Assistant Knox County Public Defender Brandon Crunkilton represented the Defendants in these matters.
Director of Law Rob Broeren represented the State of Ohio, City of Mount Vernon, and the Village of Fredericktown in these cases.

 

Judge Springer looking to create a Family Dependency Treatment Court

By Cheryl Splain, KnoxPages.com Reporter

MOUNT VERNON — Discussion was light at Thursday's monthly meeting of Knox County's elected officials.

Probate/Juvenile Judge Jennifer Springer said she attended a meeting with officials from the Ohio Supreme Court and Department of Job and Family Services; the topic was abuse and neglect issues. She is looking to create a Family Dependency Treatment Court which would be funded by a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Springer also noted that former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton will speak to local officials on Friday about Stepping Up, an initiative to reduce the number of people in jail who have mental illnesses.

Commissioner Teresa Bemiller said the county is moving into Phase 3 of security, which involves determining where and how many surveillance cameras are needed in offices and hallways of the Service Center.

Sheriff Dave Shaffer reported that the sheriff's office received certification from the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board for the use of force. The Ohio Collaborative creates state standards for issues such as use of force, wearing body cameras and recruitment and hiring. He also said the Knox County public defender is meeting daily with jail inmates in an effort to speed up the judicial process.

Shaffer told the group that the state is moving toward a program in which fourth-and fifth-degree felony offenders will serve time in local jails rather than state prisons. Although voluntary at this point, Shaffer said the indication is that the state is moving toward making the program mandatory.

 

 

 

Hull sentenced in Chelsie Alaimo case

By Marty Trese, KnoxPages.com Editor

MOUNT VERNON  - The man indicted in the aggravated vehicular homicide case of MVHS student Chelsie Alaimo in November of 2015 pleaded guilty and was sentenced to prison Thursday.

Curtis Hull, 33 of Mount Vernon, was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, and several drug charges.  A toxicology report showed Hull had heroin, cocaine and marijuana in his system when his Chevy Trailblazer struck Chelsie as she was crossing the street at Belmont and Mansfield Avenue.

Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Wetzel sentenced Hull to four years, six months with credit for 405 days served. Hull was sentenced to serve 11 months for cocaine possession.  Following Hull's release from prison he will serve a 3 year term of post release control. Hull was also sentenced to 90 days with credit for 90 days served for criminal damaging.  He was also fined $1,129 and ordered to pay that amount to the Knox County Sheriff's Office.  The judge also suspended Hull's Class 1 operator's [driver's] license for life.                                                                                             

Curtis Hull

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curtis Hull - Knox Co. jail file photo

 

 

 

 

 

Officers Gutridge, Taylor complete training in community based corrections

MOUNT VERNON - Officers Joshua Gutridge and Adam Taylor of the Knox County Common Pleas Court’s Adult Probation department recently completed training necessary to teach Thinking for a Change, a cognitive-behavioral curriculum developed by the National Institute of Corrections.

Gutridge and Taylor received their facilitator training through Behavioral Healthcare Partners of Central Ohio last week by completing a 32-hour classroom course. In addition to learning the contents of the program, the officers and their classmates were required to lead two lessons on their own, which were overseen by a certified trainer.

Joining Gutridge and Taylor for the training were representatives from the Freedom Center and BHP’s Courage House and Spencer House inpatient programs. Mount Vernon Municipal Court Probation Officer Lisa Shaw also completed the training.
Often referred to simply as “T4C,” the program concentrates on changing the criminogenic thinking of offenders and is a commonly-used tool in probation and community-based corrections.

Knox County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Wetzel has called upon the probation department to begin offering T4C later this year to those on the court’s probation case load.

Adam and gutridge thinking for a change

Joshua Gutridge (left) and Adam Taylor - Knox Co. Adult Court Court Services -Felony Probation Facebook page

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