By Justin Jaech
The Times 

Dayton City Council discussed flood abatement, tourism promotion funding


November 17, 2022

DAYTON- The Dayton City Council held a regular meeting on October 11, 2022. Mayor Zac Weatherford and council members Teeny McMunn, James Su’euga, Kyle Anderson, Laura Aukerman, Dain Nysoe, and Tiger Dieu were present at City Hall. Shannon McMillen was absent.

County Commissioner Ryan Rundell gave the emergency management report and announced the new director, Tina Bobbit, who will begin on December 1, 2022.

Sheriff Helm joined the meeting on Zoom. He informed the Council of his department’s programs involving the school district, including offering high school students community service hours for volunteering at the Sheriff’s Department.

Helm said deputies would be patrolling the cemetery more often to curb recent vandalism

He took the opportunity to set the record straight about misinformation concerning the arrest of a blind man by Columbia County officers. Helm clarified that this incident occurred in Columbia County, Florida, not in his department.

A representative from AHBL, Inc. gave an update on the Jasper Pines annexation and zoning request. The property, owned by Mitchell Mathews, is on the southern end of South Fifth Street, adjacent to city limit. The owner plans to build affordable housing on the lot. A public hearing will be held during the next city council meeting on November 22, 2022.

The Council discussed Resolution 1502, allowing the mayor to execute a municipal services agreement for lodging tax-funded activities with the Dayton Chamber of Commerce for the fiscal year 2023. The lodging tax revenues are to be used for tourism promotion.

Aukerman objected to allocating money until the City’s budget was finalized. Aukerman suggested that the city consider keeping half the tax revenue and doing its own promotion. After discussion, the resolution to work with the Dayton Chamber of Commerce for tourism promotion using the lodging tax revenue was approved unanimously.

In his public safety committee report, Anderson identified an apparent need for crosswalk warning lights at the Main Street and First Street intersection.

Su’euga, chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee, felt there is an urgent need to implement some flood control remediation efforts upstream of the Main Street–Touchet River bridge. He said various State and Federal agencies have been unable to agree on a solution for problems potentially catastrophic to much of the city.

He proposed a letter-writing and social media campaign to the concerned agencies using school district students, churches, and other community members.

The mayor appointed Su’euga as the council liaison to the Dayton School District.

The last order of business was to begin the review of the 2023 preliminary budget. A public hearing was scheduled for November 22, 2022, and the budget must be approved by Council before the end of December.

The mayor and Council decided to schedule a budget workshop within the next week before adjourning the meeting.


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