Tearful goodbye from YMCA director at city council meeting

by Jennifer Sierra

IMG_6028At the Dayton, Kentucky city council meeting last night, many requests for funds came in front of city council. Mark Stark, owner of the marina, asked to have the city move the paving project for the driveway leading to the marina up to this spring from the previously scheduled fall of this year. City Administrator Michael Giffen said that the project would cost about $28,000.00 and that funding would come out of the municipal aid account. Council approved the project.

In a tearful statement, Justine Ryan from the Dayton, Kentucky YMCA let council know that she will be leaving her position with the YMCA to accept a job offer in Pittsburgh. She will be leaving at the end of April. “I want to thank all of you for all of the support you have given to the teen center and to me personally over the last 5 years. This town has become a second home to me and many people have become my family. All of our program will run like normal because of the amazing staff we have in place,” Justine said. Justine and her team have helped Dayton and Bellevue, Kentucky’s youth  programs flourish. After a presentation that Justine gave to council talking about all that the YMCA does for the communities of Dayton and Bellevue (the slideshow presentation is below), Ryan informed council that the YMCA ‘s funding has been decreased by $7,500.00 for 2016-17. The programs that the YMCA organizes has helped decrease crime and increase math and reading scores for local kids. Justine cited that local graduation rates increased 6.4 % between 2013 and 2015. She asked council for $20,000.00 to help fund her programs. She needs $11,749.29 for the teen center programs and $8,250.00 for building repairs, help cover the decrease in funding for programs, the ability to add community programs and serve more students. Council Member Joe Neary stated, “This issue is financial to the city. We are 3/4 into the fiscal year and this wasn’t figured into the budget. No one has had a bigger impact on the city over the last several years than you. This issue is up to the finance committee.” Council members were speechless. No one had an answer for Justine Ryan. Mark Stark broke the silence,”We need to find this money. This is important. This is our youth!” He told council to give his paving money to the YMCA.  Everyone laughed. No decision was made on the issue.

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Michael Giffen reminded everyone that “Beyond the Curb” will be April 24th from 10 AM – 4 PM. Registration for the event will be held at Manhattan Harbour.

There was an issue with releasing the funds for the fire department. $957,239.00 was allocated to the fire department out of the city budget for operation of the fire department. Out of that money $36,000 was for defibrillators, $24,000.00 for bathroom remodel, over $861,000 is for general operating expenses for the fire department. The bathroom remodel turned out to be $30,000.00 but the defibrillators came in cheaper than the budgeted $36,000.00 to $30,000.00. Giffen needed to clarify this for the record for internal accounting purposes. Council Member Jerry Gifford said  “The point is this, you can’t hold things to an exact number. I don’t see a problem with it.” Council Member Tucker said,”I don’t have a problem with it either because it is a wash but to say that we can’t hold things to an exact number, that is exactly what the budget is for. We should be holding them to an exact number. If there are changes, they should come up ahead of time, not after the fact.”Council member Ben Baker said, “Moving forward we need to try harder to keep our numbers tighter. It is great that it turned out a wash.”

Paving will start this summer and go through fall in the city.

Giffen introduced Tina Neyer as the new Main Street Director. “Dayton is my home town. I walk this city all the time. I am anxious to be a part of seeing the city growing.”

There will be a dumpster at public works for any homeowner wanting to dump in once a year with the permission of the city.

The city is still working on securing trash service bids for a new contract with a residential waste management company.

There was a grant secured from Homeland Security for $100,000.00 a couple of years ago. A bid was received for $99,463.00 for the cameras.

Police Chief Halfhill announced Canine Officer Tesa came in 2nd out of 20 dogs in a state competition. The Citizens Academy has been postponed due to lack of participation. He also recognized Officer Tony Baldwin for 20 years of service with the department. The chief gave Officer Baldwin a plaque.IMG_6014

Council Member Neary mentioned receiving questions about board appointments and hiring and firing city employees. Neary stated that since Dayton is a Home Rule or Strong Mayor city, “The mayor has all the responsibility of administration , all the responsibility of hiring and firing, all of the board appointments are up to the mayor. If the courtesy was extended to council, it isn’t necessary. We are following the state law.”

Duke energy has donated light poles to the community garden for climbing plants. Duke will also set them up for the garden volunteers.

The city is still looking for bids on the bathroom repairs at Gil Lynn park.

The city wide yard sale will be held on May 14th 2016 and a rain date is June 4th.




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