Keaton stresses importance of census

BROOKVILLE – Two special honors were bestowed upon Jason Jacobs of the Brookville Police Department at the Feb. 4 Brookville city council meeting.

First, he was sworn-in as the department’s captain by Judge James D. Piergies, Presiding and Administrative Judge for the Western Division of the county Municipal Court.

Second, Brookville Chief of Police Doug Jerome presented Jacobs with the award as the department’s 2019 Officer-of-the-Year.

In citing Jacobs for the special honor and award, Jerome said, “It was a tough decision, everybody did a lot.

“We are very proud of Jason (Jacobs),” added Jerome.

In other business at the meeting City Manager Sonja Keaton informed all those gathered about the importance of the 2020 U.S. Census, which all are asked to participate in.

“Responding to the census is part of our civic duty,” Keaton said.

She also presented council members with a report on possible revenue sources and stream for the city. She asked the members to review the document and be prepared to have a discussion at a near future meeting.

She said information gathered from the census is important for cities and area like Brookville.

Keaton also gave updates on two building projects in the city.

First, she said that the new BP gasoline station/Hardees location under construction for Giant Oil at the intersection of Triggs and Arlington roads may open as early as Feb. 14.

Secondly, the Duramax diesel engine components facility under construction through a joint venture by General Motors and Isuzu in the North Brook Industrial Park is “on schedule,” and she further said that hopefully by the middle of March be fully under roof.

Keaton also received authorization from council to purchase a 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe for the Brookville Fire Department at a cost of $37,956.40. The new vehicle will become the fire department’s new command vehicle, and the current command vehicle will become the utility vehicle.

The current utility vehicle will be designated as surplus.

Keaton noted in her report that the vehicle purchase is included in the 2020 city budget. The purchase is through the state of Ohio Department of Administrative Services joint purchase program.

Keaton also noted that Rumpke has finalized its plans for a five-day per week pick-up schedule. Some collection dates will be changing. Keaton reported that Rumpke will be mailing information on the new schedule the meek of Feb. 16. A map of the new dates is expected to be posted soon on the city Web site at

Finance Director Michelle Brandt reported that her office was informed by the state of Ohio that the city owes $9,971.19 to entities in the city from changes with the state municipal net profit income tax law.

She received authorization from council to make the refund.

She also received approval form council for the January 2020 fund balance. That fund balance did show that month-to-date expenditures exceeded receipts by $153,807.92 for the month.

Fire Chief Ron Fletcher reported that in reviewing the operations report and data from service call reports that average response times to some portions of the department’s service area have been 20 to 25 seconds faster with responders traveling to calls from the new Station 76 on Upper Lewisburg-Salem Road.

Law Director Rod Stephan asked for and received approval from council for an amendment to Resolution 20-01, which allows the cit5y manager to dispose of surplus government property at public or internet auctions, private sales or by donation to a government body or non-profit.

The resolution passed in its second reading, with the amendment which states that the city manager must report to council about any such sales or donations within 30 days.

Stephan said that the amendment “Allows for greater city council overview.”

Several matters about speed issues on city streets and motorists going the wrong way on one-way streets was addressed by citizens.

Matt Yablonsky asked if signage could be made more visible notating the one-way status of Columbia Street, which is near the Uptown section of Brookville.

He said he was out walking his dog and they were almost struck by a vehicle going the wrong way.

Trevor Hopkins, Jim Jordan and David Young all asked if something could be done about the speeds of vehicles on Albert Road and the amount of semi-truck traffic on the same street.

They are concerned for the safety of children playing in yards along that street, who may inadvertently enter the roadway.

Hopkins went as far as to say, “Traffic is out of control.”

He added, “I’d like to see something done.”

The next meeting of Brookville City Council is set for Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Brookville Municipal Building, 301 Sycamore St., Brookville.

By Kevin O’Boyle

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Reach this writer at [email protected], or call 833-2545.