Published: Tuesday, 29 August 2017 11:00
MOUNT VERNON — At Monday's city council meeting, Dennis Swingle once again asked for the city's help in controlling truck traffic on Edgewood Road. He said that when he and other neighbors submitted a petition asking for speed bumps to be installed, he did not realize the magnitude of the problem.
He said that after meeting with Mayor Richard Mavis, Swingle was told that in 2016, 10 semi trucks were recorded on Edgewood Road in a 24-hour period. In March 2017, that number was over 62 semis in 24 hours.
“It really has pointed out to me that it's a huge problem and it's been going on for a while. The Mount Vernon Police Department can't get there in time to do anything about it,” he said, adding that he did not blame the MVPD because he knows it is spread thin.
Even if it is a temporary solution, Swingle said that speed bumps will help until the city comes up with something more permanent. “I am sure the semis would not appreciate speed bumps,” he said.
He thanked Safety-service Director Joel Daniels for tracking down a few of the drivers after neighbors provided license plates and truck numbers.
Health Commissioner Julie Miller updated council on the department's activities. Highlights include applying for up to $209,000 in grant money to assess gaps in and offer more tobacco cessation education in the county; the least amount the department will receive is $70,000 to $75,000.
The number of patients visiting the community health center continues to rise; plans are to open another dental position, and medical services are growing as well. The center is applying for a $150,000 grant to enhance mental health services within the health center's jurisdiction. Miller said plans are to hire another provider and technician to reach those who need mental health services.
Councilman John Francis read a proclamation designating September Hunger Action Month.
In other business, council:
*Directed Daniels to submit an application for grant money for the Parrot/South Main Street intersection improvement project
*Designated First-Knox National Bank, PNC Bank, STAR Ohio and Home Loan Savings Bank as depositories for the city's funds
*Approved appropriations that include $1,000 from the Foundation Park Conservancy for the Rastin Challenge, $636,228 from a FEMA grant for a new Quint fire truck, $11,821.07 in excess water bill collections, $1,500 from VFW Charities of Ohio for the police bike patrol, $337,900 Bureau of Workers Compensation refund and a $30,000 grant for the municipal court's MERIT Drug Court program.
*Approved fund transfers
*Adopted legislation banning the cultivating and dispensing of medical marijuana within the city limits
*Approved a $2-per-hour raise to bring the MERIT Drug Court's coordinator pay to $22.40 per hour. The city pays $17 of that; the rest is paid through grants.
*Approved an amendment to allow for two safety-service administrative assistants for a one-week period. Dee Woods will retire the end of September; the amendment allows for training of her replacement.
Published: Monday, 28 August 2017 06:51
By Cheryl Splain, KnoxPages.com Reporter
MOUNT VERNON — When the Court of Common Pleas' Adult Court Services moves to 118 E. High St. later this fall, Probation Officer Joshua Gutridge envisions the site to be a “single point of multi-service agencies.”
The new location has enough classroom and consulting space for two or three organizations to meet with probationers at the same time. Gutridge wants to make the space available to other agencies in the county that work with the same population. Potential agencies include Behavioral Health Partners, Knox County Job & Family Services and the Freedom Center.
“The goal is to have everybody come in and get all of the services they need in one day,” he said. Those services include GED training, trauma counseling and anger management, to name a few. He also wants to establish a computer lab and self-help groups. Often, job certification and obtaining a GED are requirements of the court's community sanctions program.
He would like each organization to schedule a block of time when a representative is present. With predetermined times, Gutridge and other probation officers can schedule appointments for their probationers rather than leaving it up to them to schedule appointments. This also makes it easier for probationers to arrange transportation, a problem that often leads to missed appointments and lack of followup.
Gutridge is looking at the most common offenses to see determine which groups could best use the space. Using grant money, Adult Court Services plans to hire an additional probation officer; Gutridge is hopeful that with the additional officer, night appointments might be an option for probationers who work during the day.
“The more we work together, the better for this town and community,” he said.