Author: Kayleen Petrovia

Tempers flared and arguments boiled over Tuesday night as Jerome Township trustees attempted to negotiate the terms of their public safety officer contract with the Union County Sheriff’s Office. The contract, which expires Dec. 31, was not renewed at Tuesday’s meeting. Township officials said they hope to sign an agreement at their Dec. 21 meeting. Trustees have spent months meeting with the Sheriff’s Office in attempts to negotiate the contract, which provides four dedicated deputies to Jerome and Millcreek townships. On Tuesday, disagreements quickly arose between the trustees and county officials, and between members of the board. Differing opinions surrounded…

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After months of legal wrangling, a court agreement could approve four contentious residential developments in Jerome Township. As part of a draft consent decree approved by the Board of Trustees, the properties affiliated with the Homestead at Scotts Farm, Rolling Meadows, the Farm at Indian Run and Jerome Village Neighborhood 10 (VN-10) would be rezoned to Planned Development Districts. The preliminary development plans for each of the neighborhoods would be approved “without referendum or appeal,” according to the consent decree. Properties for each of the four developments were rezoned to Planned Development Districts (PD) from Rural Residential Districts (RU) by…

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The areas in which COVID-19 grant funding was spent from Feb. 20, 2021 through Oct. 31, 2021 is illustrated in the graphic created by Union County Health Department Fiscal Officer Amy Hamilton. She said the vast majority of pandemic grant dollars went toward personnel costs. (Graphic submitted) The Union County Board of Health approved the health department’s 2022 budget Thursday and reviewed COVID-19 spending throughout the pandemic. Health Commissioner Jason Orcena noted that it is difficult to consider what the 2021 budget would have looked like without COVID-related spending because the pandemic changed many grant structures.  Generally, grants awarded to…

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Santa will travel through Plain City to greet the local girls and boys Saturday evening following Christmas Under the Clock. Santa will start his journey in Uptown Plain City, marked by the pinpoint above, and follow the route indicated by the arrows. (Graphic submitted) — Children throughout Plain City will have an opportunity to see Santa Saturday, while families have an opportunity to give to those in need. Following Christmas Under the Clock, at 7 p.m. Dec. 4, Santa will be traveling through Plain City to greet the local children. He will begin his route by traveling west on Main…

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In a split vote, Jerome Township Trustees voted to approve a consent decree surrounding the pending lawsuit filed against the township by a group of developers and property owners. The agreement follows months of back-and-forth, including a motion by the township to dismiss the lawsuit and a subsequent settlement offer from the plaintiffs. Throughout the process, the Board of Trustees has held multiple special meetings for the purpose of executive sessions with legal counsel to discuss the litigation. Ultimately, Trustee Chair Megan Sloat dissented, while fellow trustees Joe Craft and C.J. Lovejoy voted to approve a draft of the consent…

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Plain City Council recently approved a 2022 budget that looks toward the future. Village Administrator Haley Lupton said that planned spending will revolve around an emphasis on infrastructure, employee retention, long-term fiscal health, economic development and recreational opportunities. “In keeping with the vision of the community’s comprehensive plan, the village strives to maintain its small town feel that makes the area attractive, while updating infrastructure and technology to support a new era of improvements and service delivery,” Lupton wrote in a letter to council and residents. A budget overview from Lupton noted that revenues are expected to increase to $31,458,149…

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If there is one thing we can all agree that we’re thankful for, it’s food. So, this Thanksgiving weekend, please join me in an ode to Thanksgiving food: Thank you, Thanksgiving meal, for showing me that there has never been a color wheel so beautiful as a plate piled high with your foods. Every autumn shade manifested in its edible form, grounded by a golden-brown slice of deep-fried turkey in the center. They say we eat with our eyes first, but even the looks of such a perfect feast can’t compare with the taste. I can’t thank you enough for choosing…

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Plain City Council recently approved a compensation plan that will gradually increase the number of village employees. A flow chart depicting the future organizational structure of the village is illustrated above. Shaded boxes are future employees, with the year of their anticipated hiring in parenthesis. (Graphic submitted) As Plain City continues to grow, its administration is preparing to expand the village’s staff. Council unanimously approved a resolution Monday to accept a 2021 compensation plan that will gradually increase the number of village employees over the next five years. Eight positions are expected to be added by 2024. According to a…

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Plain City Council is deciding how to fill the void, as Uptown Plain City Organization is disbanding. Council member Shannon Pine, who has served as the head of UPCO’s design committee, said the organization is planning a “lengthier disband” that will occur over time. However, UPCO will cease planning and hosting events at the end of this year. UPCO is an all-volunteer organization “focused on the growth and development of the Historic Uptown District,” according to documents from the organization. UPCO assists with design considerations and economic development through hosting events, offering grants and providing educational seminars. Residents of the…

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Plain City Council formed one new committee Monday evening and considered eliminating another. Council unanimously approved the group of individuals who will serve on the village administrator search committee and discussed the possibility of combining the planning and zoning committee with the Board of Zoning Appeals, though no decision was made. Earlier in the evening, Mayor Jody Carney notified council of the resignation of Randa Prendergast from the Board of Zoning Appeals. Prendergast was appointed to the board in July, but indicated in her resignation letter that her schedule no longer permits the time required to serve. Carney said the…

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Students who participate in the Bunsold After School Enrichment (BASE) program meet after classes for tutoring, homework help and extracurricular activities. BASE is planning to launch an Esports League this spring, in which students will face off against other middle school teams in online gaming competitions. (Photo submitted) The Bunsold After School Enrichment Program is working to help prepare its students for their future, without losing their interest. The BASE program is planning to launch an Esports League, which revolves around competitive online gaming, this spring.  “I know a lot of students and every single one of them spends a…

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Triad is turning to creative methods in an attempt to mitigate staffing shortages felt by school districts throughout the state. The district filled several custodial and bus driver positions after hosting open interviews Saturday, Nov. 6, which included an opportunity to test drive school buses. Superintendent Vickie Hoffman said the district has been especially affected by a statewide shortage in bus drivers. “It’s been rough everywhere, not just Triad,” Hoffman said during Thursday’s Board of Education meeting. To incentivize potential candidates, the board approved a $500 signing bonus for drivers – with half paid after 90 days driving and the…

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Union County Health Commissioner Jason Orcena said the area recently began seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases, though it’s too early to tell if another surge is on the horizon. During Wednesday’s Board of Health meeting, Orcena noted that there has been a sustained increase in reported COVID-19 cases since late October. Orcena said Union County is currently seeing approximately 450 cases per 100,000 individuals. The increase follows a period in which cases appeared to be decreasing then plateaued. “It just never went back down,” Orcena said. The health commissioner said it is unclear whether to expect another surge in…

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The Jerome Township police protection levy officially failed, according to results certified by the Union County Board of Elections Wednesday. Union County Board of Elections Director Tina LaRoche said 1,271 voters cast their ballot against the levy, while 1,237 were in favor of it. Ultimately, 50.7% of voters were against the proposed measure. The five-year, 1.1 mills renewal levy with a 0.1 mill increase would have funded the township’s dedicated public safety officers, along with a portion of the cost for a school resource officer, provided through the Union County Sheriff’s Office. Jerome Township shares four PSOs with Millcreek Township,…

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Jerome Township officials are working to ensure their residents do not bear the brunt of the cost to adequately staff the Union County Sheriff’s Office. During Tuesday’s trustees meeting, Chair Megan Sloat proposed two options for the township’s public safety officer (PSO) contract with the Union County Sheriff’s Office. Rather than a five-year contract, as has been done in the past, she suggested committing to either a one-year or three-year agreement. Sloat said the PSO agreement was discussed at a recent meeting with Jerome Township Director of Departments Douglas Stewart, along with representatives from Millcreek Township, UCSO and the township’s…

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