City council to consider funding distributions

By Ivy Potter - [email protected]

A dozen organizations that receive funding from the city’s hotel/motel occupancy tax are in line to divvy up more than $25,000, according to an ordinance that will receive its first reading by the Portsmouth City Council at tonight’s meeting in council chambers.

The Cultural Affairs Panel has recommended to council that it authorize distribution of $25,553.29, which is one-third of the hotel/motel tax assigned to the panel. Those organizations to receive designated amounts are Portsmouth Area Arts Council and Connex ($4,000 each), Main Street Portsmouth and Southern Ohio Performing Arts ($3,000 each), Portsmouth Area Beautification Society and Portsmouth Area Community Exhibits ($2,000 each), Portsmouth Community Orchestra ($1,903.29), Southern Ohio Museum and Time Out For Me ($1,500), St. Mary’s International Festival ($1,200), Scioto County Historical (1810 House Society) ($750) and P.R.O.U.D. ($700).

Other first-reading ordinances scheduled for the 6 p.m. meeting are two items related to grant funds from the Ohio Department of Public Safety Office of Criminal Justice Services under the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG). Both are requested to be passed as an emergency in accordance with Section 10 of the city charter.

One grant would provide $39,212.50 to the Portsmouth Police Department Task Force for the operating year 2018 for the purpose of purchasing in-car camera equipment by the Portsmouth Police Department. In turn, the police department is required to match funding by providing an additional $13,070.83. The grant provides the funding on a reimbursement basis.

Another grant provides $20,000 specifically for use by the police department. The city is required to match funds in the amount of $6,666.66.

Another item scheduled for a first reading is an ordinance authorizing revision and clarification of wording in an ordinance passed by council on Dec. 18. The ordinance, which is requested to be passed as an emergency, relates to health insurance premiums for city employees. According to an unfair labor practice complaint filed against the city by FOP Lodge 33, some of the language in the Dec. 18 ordinance is in direct violation of labor contracts. Eliminating one sentence in the ordinance is expected to be an acceptable remedy.

By Ivy Potter

[email protected]

Reach Ivy Potter at 740-353-3101 ext. 1932

Reach Ivy Potter at 740-353-3101 ext. 1932