By Nikki Blankenship
Scioto County Candor
Portsmouth City Council met Monday night in Council Chamber Chambers, where they passed several emergency pieces of legislation.
Four readings were passed as emergencies, waving the three reading rule and passing the four items on a first reading.
The first item passed was an Ordinance authorizing the distribution of $25,553.29 which is the 33 1/3% of the Hotel/Motel Tax assigned to Cultural Affairs, to various organizations as recommended by the Cultural Affairs Panel.
Those funds will be distributed as follows:
Connex, Inc. — $4,000.00
Main Street Portsmouth — $3,000.00
Portsmouth Area Arts Council — $4,000.00
Portsmouth Area Beautification Society — $2,000.00
Portsmouth Area Community Exhibits — $2,000.00
Portsmouth Community Orchestra — $1,903.29
P.R.O.U.D. — $ 700.00
Scioto County Historical (1810 House Society) — $ 750.00
Southern Ohio Museum — $1,500.00
Southern Ohio Performing Arts — $3,000.00
St. Mary’s International Festival — $1,200.00
Time Out For Me, Inc. — $1,500.00
The second and third items passed by Council were ordinances authorizing the acceptance of grant funds from the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Office of Criminal Justice Services under the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG). Portsmouth has been awarded a state grant in the amount of $39,212.50 for operating year 2018 under the Justice Assistance Grant to purchase in-car camera equipment. Additionally, Portsmouth has been awarded a state grant in the amount of $20,000.00 for operating year 2018 under the Justice Assistance Grant. The funding assistance is specifically for use by the Police Department, and the City is required to provide matching funds.
The last item was an ordinance authorizing the repeal of the first sentence of the second paragraph of Section V of Ordinance No. 73 passed by City Council on December 18, 2017. The ordinance deals with health insurance premiums. When Council passed the ordinance, a problem arose with some of the language as it is in direct violation of Labor Contracts. According to the ordinance, “This action caused FOP Lodge 33 to file an unfair labor practice against the City. More specifically, the language of the first sentence of the second paragraph of Section V is in question because it was not negotiated with the Labor Unions. To remedy this issue, it is requested that the first sentence of the second paragraph of Section V be repealed until such language can be negotiated.”
Portsmouth City Council will meet again in regular session at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 9 in Council Chambers, located on the second floor of the Municipal Building on Second Street in Portsmouth.