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Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio

Local Government

St. Paul's celebrating 200 years

MOUNT VERNON - St. Paul's Episcopal Church on East High Street is celebrating the 200th anniversary of its founding. Church member Cecelia McClelland said, “We’re collecting things in 200 to celebrate the 200th anniversary,” McClelland said. “Like medicine [supplies] to send to Belize.”

The bicentennial celebration continues through November. The Diocese of Ohio was established by the 12th General Convention of The Episcopal Church in 1817. Ohio was the first diocese established beyond the original 13 colonies. The Episcopal Church in Ohio split into two dioceses in 1875. The 48 counties in northern Ohio retained the name The Episcopal Diocese of Ohio, and the 40 counties in Southern Ohio took the name The Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio. The Diocese of Ohio currently has 86 parishes and 16,000 members.

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St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Mount Vernon - KP Photo


St. Paul’s Mount Vernon was organized in 1829 and has over 100 parishioners. They welcome everyone to join them in worship and participate in their outreach efforts. The people of St. Paul’s share long term service with Interchurch Social Services, Winter Sanctuary Emergency Homeless Shelters and offer Sunday Suppers - free, hot meals each week. To grow in service to their communities and to celebrate the Diocese of Ohio’s 200 years, parishes and communicants are establishing “200s.”

Each congregation has a Bicentennial Missioner who is helping to ask “What’s your 200?” as a way of identifying and taking on new or increased disciplines of prayer, service, giving, advocating and inviting. St. Paul’s and the Diocese of Ohio reflect on their past and celebrate their present; they keep their eyes on the future. Together, they are “committing to a new century serving God’s mission.”

Highway Patrol joins American Red Cross, police and fire for annual blood donation challenge

MOUNT GILEAD – The Ohio State Highway Patrol is teaming up with the American Red Cross, police officers and firefighters this July for the 22nd annual Guns-N-Hoses campaign in Central Ohio. In the spirit of saving lives, troopers will give blood themselves, and they encourage the public to join them in a friendly competition to see which group can donate the most – police or fire.

Motor vehicle crashes and traumatic injuries increase during the summer months and the need for blood donations often exceeds the supply. Each American Red Cross blood drive during the summer sees about two fewer donors. This comes at a time when donations are critical, resulting in as much as 100,000 fewer donations compared to other months, according to the American Red Cross.

Troopers, as law enforcement officers and first responders see first-hand what the gift of donating blood can do for those affected in traffic crashes and other emergency situations. More than 12,000 pints of blood are expected to be donated during Guns-N-Hoses, and more than 1,200 pints come from fire and police officers alone. The rest are from those who support everyday heroes and want to save lives. The Red Cross and the Ohio State Highway Patrol encourage you to help make this campaign a success, and to give someone the gift of life this summer.

“Guns-N-Hoses may be a competition between police and fire, but in the end, the patients who benefit from these blood donations are the ones who really win,” said Lt. G. S. Grewal, Commander of the Mount Gilead Post. “The Patrol is grateful for this opportunity to support the Red Cross and help save lives.”

“First responders help keep our community safe every day,” said Rodney Wilson, communications manager of the Red Cross Central Ohio Blood Services Region. “When you come to donate blood this July, you can support them and help patients in need.”

To schedule an appointment to give, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS. Those who donate blood during the Guns-N-Hoses campaign can receive gifts and prizes, including:

- Columbus Zoo and Aquarium buy one get one free entry coupon

- Enter to win a weekly drawing for four passes to Zoombezi Bay

- Voucher to purchase deeply discounted tickets to any Cedar Fair park, including Cedar Point or Kings Island

- Voucher for $5 off coupon for Roosters

The annual Guns-N-Hoses campaign began in 1996 as a friendly competition between firefighters and police officers to see who could bring in the most blood donations. This campaign is scheduled during the critical summer trauma season when the demand for blood often exceeds the supply.

Counties participating in this year’s campaign include: Athens, Champaign, Coshocton, Crawford, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Guernsey, Hardin, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Knox, Licking, Logan, Madison, Marion, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pickaway, Richland, Ross, Tuscarawas, Union and Vinton.

Local landlords learn about Section 8 and inspection process

By Cheryl Spain, KnoxPages.com Reporter

MOUNT VERNON — What was meant to a meet and greet between Knox Metropolitan Housing Authority officials and local landlords quickly turned into a monopolized conversation from one landlord.
The meeting was intended to educate the community on housing choice vouchers, also known as Section 8, and let individuals know how to become a landlord in the program. After KMHA Executive Director Jennifer Epling gave a brief overview of the process, housing inspector Ryan Kessell began a review of what he looks for during the inspection process.
Several landlords wanted clarification as to when and why the inspection process changed and KMHA stepped up enforcement. One landlord then gave multiple examples of what he has been required to fix, adding that the violation is often the tenant's fault. Forty minutes into the program, another landlord left after his request to let the KMHA representatives continue their program was not heeded.
Eventually, Carrie Hale spoke briefly about protection rights, confidentiality issues and flexibility in moving to another unit for renters involved with domestic violence issues. The landlords still remaining had an opportunity to ask questions regarding responsibility for safety devices such as carbon monoxide alarms and smoke detectors, whether KMHA is planning to streamline the paperwork process by putting it online and drug testing of prospective renters.


GoFundMe account set up for Remillard family

MOUNT VERNON - The funeral for Nick Remillard, 20 of Gambier, will be held on Saturday at 1 p.m. at The Church of the Holy Spirit in Gambier with calling hours on Friday 1-3 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. at Flowers-Snyder Funeral Home, 619 E. High Street. Remillard was found dead behind his home on Sunday. His cousin, Kevin Remillard has been charged with Nick's murder.

A GoFundMe campaign has been created in Nick's name to help cover the funeral costs. So far over $8,700 has been raised. 
Members of the public who wish to make a contribution or who wish to learn more about the life of Nick Remillard can visit the website: https://www.gofundme.com/nick-remillard-funeral-and-memorial
According to his obituary, Nick K. “Remi” Remillard was a 2015 graduate of East Knox High School where he played baseball. In his senior year Nick led the team in strikeouts with 41. He was also a member of the East Knox F.F.A. and Creative Kids 4-H Club. Most recently Nick was very active with the Gambier dog park and was beginning his own dog sitting business. 
"He will always be remembered as a kind and compassionate young man that always filled the room with laughter and cheer. Nick never met a stranger and will be sadly missed by his family and many friends," the obituary reads. 
Friends may call on Friday from 1 to 3 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. at the Flowers-Snyder Funeral Home, 619 E. High Street, Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050. A funeral service will be held on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. at the Church of the Holy Spirit, 102 College Park Street, Gambier, Ohio 43022. The Rev. Rachel Kesler will be officiating. Burial will follow in Oak Grove Cemetery in Gambier.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Gambier Dog Park, C/O Village of Gambier, PO Box 1984, Gambier, Ohio 43022 or East Knox Baseball, C/O East Knox Athletic Boosters, PO Box 15, Howard, Ohio 43028.
To share a memory of Remi or leave a condolence for the family, visit www.snyderfuneralhomes.com


City Finance Group explores adding income and property tax combo


By Cheryl Splain, KnoxPages.com Reporter

MOUNT VERNON — The discussion on how to solve the city's financial crunch took a new direction on Monday when it was suggested to raise the money through a combination income tax increase and property tax increase. Previous discussions centered on raising the income tax by ½ percent and how the additional revenue would be divided among roads/bridges, capital improvements, police/fire and the general fund.

The new proposal involves a suggested ¼ percent income tax increase for safety services and a 5- or 6-mill property tax for roads and bridges. The idea behind a combined revenue stream centers on the desire to avoid placing a larger burden on one demographic population over another.

Compared to seniors, an income tax places a larger burden on younger working families, the demographic the city wants to attract,. Seniors do not pay income tax but still use city services; however, they face restricted cost of living increases and rising medical expenses compared to the younger population. A combined approach, with perhaps some sort of means testing on the taxes, spreads the responsibility over a broader demographic area.

The city finance group and city council will hold a joint working session on Tuesday, June 20, at 6:30 p.m. to further explore the combined approach. A ¼ percent tax increase generates around $1.68 million. City Auditor Terry Scott will calculate what 1 mill generates and the millage required to produce the revenue needed.

Another option discussed at Monday's finance group meeting is to dedicate the revenue from the proposed ½ percent tax increase to safety services, which would free up money for the general fund. Although a current ½ percent income tax is dedicated to police and fire, it no longer generates enough to cover the police and fire budgets. For fire/EMS, the tax covers 57.45 percent of the 2017 budget; for police, the tax covers 53.32 percent. The city's general fund subsidizes the remaining amounts.

Much of the meeting dealt with the need for a new building to house the police department, municipal court, a new magistrate court and the city law director's office. In 10 years, although the parking garage at 5 N. Gay St. can be enlarged to include an additional floor, the structure on top of the garage will be unusable, necessitating construction of a new building at a cost of $10 million to $15 million. Finance group members urged city officials to carefully consider whether current vacant buildings can be used rather than building a new structure.

Regardless of where the courts, police department and law director's office ultimately move to, Scott said the city should set aside $400,000 a year to help offset the cost of the new building. A similar approach was used to construct the fire station on West Gambier Street. The city set aside money beginning in 1993; by the time the station was constructed in 2003, the city could pay cash for the building.

City council has to make a decision soon on how it wants to proceed. The deadline for placing an issue on the November ballot is Aug. 9. With its reduced summer schedule, council meets on June 26 and July 24; council will either have to pass legislation authorizing a ballot issue as an emergency or call a special council meeting to include a third reading.

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