MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis said the city is working on the contract for the public defender’s office.
The city has paid $5,000 a year into the county public defender’s fund to help pay for services at the Mount Vernon Municipal Court. Mavis said increasing the pay was discussed last year, and the city will now be asked to pay $12,500 for the services this year.
“There are more and more cases being dealt with each year,” Mavis said. “We are in the process of reviewing this contract and hope to get it executed in a few days.
“We had anticipated an increase and we have the money for it.”
The public defender’s office is partially subsidized by the state, with the county and city helping out with other costs.
That move follows discussion at council last week on the city’s contract with the county for jail services. The county has asked the city for a 4 percent increase in the amount it pays for the housing of city prisoners at the Knox County Jail. That would amount to about $1,000 more per month, Mavis said.
“With the number of prisoners we have this year, it’s still a good deal,” he said.
The city receives revenue from fines collected when people are arrested for violating city ordinances.
•Mavis said the city’s trucks are loaded with salt and ready to go. A significant amount of snowfall is expected over the weekend and Mavis said the city is prepared.
•The city received a second Federal Emergency Management Agency grant for a siren. Mavis said the city will match the $10,000 grant and be able to replace the old Thunderbolt siren on New Gambier Road.
•The city received seven bids to supply police cruisers, one from as far away as Cincinnati. The city budgets to replace three cruisers each year and there are usually just two bidders, Mavis said. The bids will be reviewed and awarded in the next couple of weeks.
•City Engineer Cameron Keaton and Safety-Service Director Dave Glass continue to work with the hospital and Lowe’s in an effort to create a public road that will connect Yauger Road and Coshocton Avenue. Mavis said the hospital is looking into land values and he hopes to be able to bid the project in the spring.
•City offices will be closed Thursday and Friday for the Christmas holiday.