Lima council opposes expected federal budget proposal

LIMA — The Lima City Council became the latest of several governmental entities to officially voice opposition to proposed budget cuts by President Donald Trump.

In a preview to the president’s first budget while in office in February, Trump proposals included the elimination of several U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development programs. Community Development Director Susan Crotty said the proposal would have a serious effect locally.

“In the past decade, we have spent $5.6 million for emergency repairs, promoting home ownership and helping with home loans,” said Crotty. “Lima has done a very good job using these funds as they are intended. It helps the most vulnerable in our community.”

Crotty pointed out that the funds have also been used in other areas such as leverage funds for street and sidewalk projects to meet ADA requirements, providing access to safe housing for minorities, removing dilapidated buildings and police support services.

President Trump’s final budget proposal is expected in May.

“This is a way we can reach out to our elected legislators to let them know how it would affect us,” Crotty said.

Council also passed legislation to allow the Lima Police and Fire departments to enter into an updated memorandum of understanding with the Allen County Sheriff’s Office in regards to the Lima-Allen County Regional Bomb Squad.

The bomb squad is a collaborative effort between the three agencies, with the team made up of two representatives from each department. According to the memorandum of understanding, while each team member remains employed with that member’s home agency, the group would work together in biweekly training sessions while also being available to respond to emergency situations. The Allen County sheriff would serve as the squad administrator, with all specialized equipment administered by the Sheriff’s Office.

Lima Police Chief Kevin Martin issued a letter to council stating the effort allows for the sharing of costs and responsibilities when providing vital emergency services.

In other business, councilors Jesse Lowe II and Teresa Adams asked that hazardous intersections be referred to the proper committees for review.

Lowe is asking for a study on the need of a possible stop light at the intersection of N. Main and Grand streets. Adams would like a review for the possible need of a four-way stop at the intersection of Roosevelt Avenue and Prospect Street.

By Lance Mihm

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Reach Lance mihm at 567-242-0409 or on Twitter @LanceMihm