The notion has been circulating around the Statehouse for quite a while, and with the submission of Governor John Kasich’s 2017-2018 budget in House Bill 49, it has arisen yet again. The notion refers to a proposal transferring local control of collection of municipal and township income taxes to the state. The proposal has created a lot of controversy, and many communities across the state are drafting resolutions in their local legislatures to inform Columbus of their opposition to the concept. At their April 3 regular session, members of the Bryan City Council joined those communities in opposition.
Entitled Resolution 11-2017, the descriptor read, “A Resolution strongly opposing the section of Ohio Governor’s proposed 2017-2018 budget, which proposes centralized collection of net profit tax returns, and other provisions related to the municipal income tax, which will cause a substantial loss of revenue needed to support the health, safety, welfare and economic development efforts of Ohio municipalities, such as Bryan…” While several opinions exist on the matter, it is widely agreed that locally collected tax revenues are immediately accessible by their respective municipalities. Centralized collections do not allow for the same, and are withheld until an agreed upon quarterly disbursement date and time. It is also speculated that the State will probably not be performing this collection function as a free service to the municipalities, with a cost of one percent being proposed. Under suspended rules of reading, Council approved the Resolution without dissent, with Council Tommy Morr adding, “I’m glad that we’ve got this put together.”
Under suspended rules of reading, Council approved a pair of Resolutions seeking bids for two proposed construction projects. Resolution 9-2017 authorizes the solicitation of bids for proposed curbing and traffic flow improvements for the 100 block of East South Street. The concept would involve curbing the southwestern portion of the entrance to Circle K on East South Street, thereby moving the ‘stop line’ back from the intersection. With some associated widening, the improvements will allow for greater ease of turning for semi trucks and trailers that are turning east onto East South Street from northbound South Main Street.
Resolution 10-2017 seeks bids for the installation of a left turn lane onto southbound Townline Road at the intersection with Center Street. The concept would retain the current southwestern direction lane of Center Street for traffic going straight through. or turning right onto northbound Townline Road. The current northeast lane on Center Street bringing traffic into town would become the new left turn lane. A new inbound lane would then be constructed on the right-of-way on the south side of Center Street. With the flaring of the guardrail on the south side of County Road 12-C, it opens up for a gradual widening which will be ideal for bringing in through traffic when 12-C becomes Center Street. Estimated costs are $75,000 to $100,000 for the asphalt, and another $50,000 for upgrades and adjustments to the existing traffic signals. The project is expected to commence when the adjacent Bryan Middle School campus adjourns for the summer.
Council approved Ordinance 10-2017, amending Section 733.06 of Municipal Code. Originally adopted on March 18, 1957 as Ordinance 289, the law establishes an annual licensing fee of $10.00 for mechanical amusement devices; the amended fee will be $15.00. As defined in Section 733.01, also from 1957, “…the term ‘mechanical amusement device’ includes any pinball machine, bagatelle, marble machine, disc machine, ball machine, music machine, picture machine or any similar amusement device operated by insertion of a coin, disc or other insertion piece; it does not include coin machines or devices used bona fide and solely for the vending of food or merchandise.” There are currently 68 devices meeting these standards in the city jurisdiction, including modern variants. Not included are state-operated machines, or traveling machines such as those traveling with the Jubilee or the Day in the Park festivities.
In other actions undertaken, council approved the appointment of Jerry Stollings to the Williams County Combined Board of Health, and approved the rehires of Jerry Lemons and William Daughtery as seasonal employees maintaining Fountain Grove Cemetery. Council accepted the resignation of Bryan Police and Fire dispatch operator, Angie Davis, and granted permission for an upcoming civil service examination for the dispatch posts.
Prior to entering into executive session for the discussion of compensation of personnel, Council was given a demonstration of the Geographic Information System (GIS) by City Engineer Brian Wieland, and Nathan Gardner, the Engineering Supervisor of Bryan Municipal Utilities. The GIS program allows for vast amounts of detailed information on everything from utility placements, to subdivision locations, to original property surveys and more…all of which is cross-referenceable, and available upon demand.