Dayton City Council approves $1.14 million in DCDC funding assistance

Returning and incoming Dayton council members raise their right hands and swear to upload their oaths of office as Municipal Court Judge Alan Conner officiates the ceremony. Returning to council is John Headrick and being welcomed to council are Janette Goulder-Frick and Dwight Pruitt.

A handful of utility and public safety projects for the City of Dayton will move forward with the assistance of the Dayton Community Development Corporation. On Monday, May 16, Dayton City Council approved a resolution authorizing $1.14 million in DCDC funding to help the City offset an estimated $5 million budget shortfall.

The DCDC funds will be used for:

  • a water tower rehabilitation project ($405,000)
  • a project for the SH 146 water tower ($188,500)
  • updates to the City’s SCADA software and hardware, which is used for utilities monitoring and reports
  • three new public works vehicles ($115,000)
  • four new police vehicles ($260,000)
  • a six-inch trailer mount pump ($39,100)
  • water well motors ($40,071)
  • and lift station pumps ($51,000).

The City’s budget shortfalls, which were recently discovered by the new finance director, were created over the last few years, long before the arrival of City Manager Steve Floyd, who joined the City in January 2022. The shortfalls were the result of large sums spent on lawsuits, settlements, legal fees for outside attorneys, professional services such as plan reviews, engineering services and consulting fees under a previous city manager.

The meeting on Monday started with the canvassing of the May 7 election results and the seating of two new and one returning councilmembers. Joining the council are Janette Goulder-Frick and Dwight Pruitt and returning is John Headrick.

Outgoing Dayton City Councilwoman Sherial Lawson hugs Janette Goulder-Frick as she vacates her seat. Goulder-Frick defeated Lawson in the May 7 election.

For the second time in recent months, Council rejected all bids for a Luke Street drainage project. Floyd explained that the two bids the City received most recently were $200K above the amount that has been set aside for this project. He hopes to rebid the project in the future to garner more bids.

Council also heard from Susan Simmons of the Dayton Enhancement Committee about a Love Locks fence project that was recently proposed by Dayton High School students. The project, and similar ones worldwide, will allow couples who pledge their love to each other to secure a padlock to a supported frame, fence or bridge. Previously, Council approved the Love Locks fence to be erected outside Dayton Police Department but safety concerns due to the proximity to Cleveland Street (SH 321) now have the Dayton Enhancement Committee seeking other locations.

Simmons said one suggestion is to locate the Love Locks fence on the grounds of the Dayton Community Center, though councilmembers were split on that plan, with those against it suggesting that it would be an eyesore or would detract from the war memorials that already exist on the grounds. The size and scale of the Love Locks fence was a concern as it is expected to be eight feet tall.

According to Simmons, Dayton High School welding students will be involved in building the fence section and the locks will be sold as a school project. After receiving pushback from Council, Simmons promised she would return to the DEC board for other recommendations, and then share those findings with Council at its regular meeting in June.

At the start of the meeting, Dayton Police Chief Derek Woods acknowledged Animal Control Supervisor Danyell Trousdale for receiving her advanced and administrative animal control certificates, Sgt. Terry Dale for her promotion to supervisor for the Criminal Investigative Division (CID) and the promotion of Officer Chris Duos to his new rank of detective.

Dayton Police Chief Derek Woods (left) presents Chris Duos with his new badge as an investigator for the Dayton Police Department Criminal Investigation Division. The badge was presented during the May 16 Dayton City Council meeting.

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