ONTARIO — Ontario City Council gave its blessing of a grassroots effort to honor local law enforcement at Wednesday night's meeting.
Council unanimously approved a motion to accept a project proposed by Cindy Hoover, who has raised more than $1,000 from 10 local businesses to cover the cost of painting a blue line between the yellow lines on Stumbo Road. The blue line will extend from Fourth Street to Ohio 309.
Hoover said she wanted to continue the legacy of her mother and late father, former Ontario Mayor Charles Jones, who always held the local police department in high regard.
“I think at a time like this the police have been amazing in so many ways,” Hoover said. “I went to businesses (to fundraise) because I didn’t want this to become a debate between people who were supportive and people who are not.”
Council member Sherry Branham suggested creating a fund for citizens to donate to expand the effort. Streets committee chair Ed Gallo expressed his approval for the project and said the committee could discuss expanding the project at a later date.
Gallo also asked Hoover to coordinate with the city safety service director on the project.
Council also approved an ordinance to rezone a parcel on Ferguson Road from B-Business District to R3-High Density Residential District. Property owner Paul Getz of PT Investments requested the zoning change so he can construct townhouses on the land.
During an August city council meeting, Getz described the homes as high-end, urban-style townhouses aimed at young professionals.
“They will be built as zero lot-line homes, two-story and they will be for rent and for sale,” he said.
Getz said the units would rent for $1,500 a month or sell for $200,000 each. He’s currently planning for six two-bedroom units of approximately 1,500 to 1,600 square feet and four three-bedroom units of approximately 1,800 to 1,900 square feet. Each unit will have separate utilities.
During a finance committee meeting, Mayor Randy Hutchinson announced that city is set to receive an additional $219,000 from the third round of CARES Act funding.
During a discussion on how to spend the funds, Hutchinson recommended the purchase of two specially-equipped, self-cleaning Ford Explorer cruisers for the police department. The interior of the vehicles can be raised to 133 degrees for 15 minutes to kill any coronavirus.
The two cruisers will cost approximately $115,000 without video equipment, which the city will purchase with separate funds.
“In my personal opinion, that’s not a thing related to COVID-19,” Hutchinson explained.
Hutchinson suggested using the remaining funds for sanitizing sprayers and an additional donation to the Richland Area Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Fund. Council members expressed unanimous support.
Council will have an official vote on how to spend the additional CARES funds at a future meeting.