The year-end meeting of Wauseon City Council on Monday was busy with legislation including approval of the city’s 2018 budget.
During a Finance Committee report, Councilor Jon Schamp explained that some items from the capital budget deemed not necessary for the coming year were removed. Schamp said, additionally, some money from the city’s general fund was rearranged so that funds for INTV could be increased for next year from $40,000 to $50,000.
At a Committee of the Whole meeting held by Council Dec. 14, INTV representative Michael Prior requested additional funds to purchase new equipment, develop an online TV streaming option, and offer an “in demand” feature to the service. Prior also noted that 17 students are in the Wauseon High School INTV class this year, compared to seven last year.
At that meeting, Councilor Rick Frey commended INTV for its frugal spending.
On Monday, Mayor Kathy Huner directed a similar compliment “to all our (city) department heads for staying within their means” on the 2018 budget.
Park Board member Scott Stiriz reported that Kelly Rashley has resigned from the board, effective immediately.
Stiriz said the board has initially rejected a request from city resident Bonnie Grieser to install a refrigeration system at the Homecoming Park pavilion for ice skating in winter months. “It sounds like it could be kind of costly,” he said.
At the Park Board’s Dec. 12 meeting, staff member John Arps said the process of installing plumbing tubes into concrete would cost approximately $150,000, although an estimate from Buckeye Concrete Coatings of Wauseon was placed at $10,500.
Stiriz said the board determined the project is too expensive, although no action was taken.
He said a request for installing Gaga Ball, an outdoor game for young children, at the pavilion, was also rejected pending further information.
Stiriz reported that Park Board projects scheduled for next year include additional sunshades over bleachers at Dorothy B. Biddle Park, and asphalting the park’s north end parking lot; upgrading the floor and ceiling of the Rotary Park shelter house; and placing the Reighard Park pavilion between the new community pool and the playground.
The city’s Tree Commission has planted 35 trees including flowering cherry, tulip poplar, elm, sassafras, sweetgum, and locust trees. Commission members Jim Spiess and Rick Frey have fertilized trees in North Park and at Wauseon Primary School.
Frey said plans continue for the city to host the Tree City USA awards ceremony in 2021.
In department reports:
• Fire Chief Rick Sluder said Rupp-Rosebrock Inc. of Liberty Center was awarded a bid of $59,900 to add sleeping rooms to the fire department and to renovate police department offices.
• Police Chief Keith Torbet said, following Council’s approval, the department will bring in Defiance College student McKenzie Durak through an internship grant. He said the department will receive 100 percent reimbursement.
Torbet also reported that 42 children were served through Fulton County Christmas for Kids. On Dec. 16, they were treated to a breakfast from McDonald’s and Biggby Coffee, then escorted by first responder vehicles to Walmart for Christmas shopping.
“For the most part, the kids had wonderful time, and we look forward to doing it again next year,” Torbet said.
• Public Service Director Dennis Richardson said the city has opened bids for chemicals used for the city’s water services. “Fortunately, none of them are items that we spend more than $50,000 a year for, so we are free to go out and find our own prices,” he said.
• Finance Director Jamie Giguere said city income tax revenues are up over five percent from the same time last year.
The council scheduled a public hearing on Monday, Jan. 15, at 5 p.m., for a request to rezone a land parcel at the corner of North Brunell and West Oak Street from B-1 – local business – to R-3 – single family – so that a new house can be constructed.
The meeting had opened with Torbet administering the oath of office to Joe Bandeen, a newly-hired patrol officer. It ended with Huner presenting plaques to Councilors Heather Kost and Jon Schamp, whose terms expire Dec. 31. Their Council seats will be filled by Steve Schneider and Harold Stickley, both of whom ran uncontested in the November election.
Council members also approved:
• The suspension of three readings and emergency passage of: an ordinance permitting a mileage allowance increase for city personnel to the current IRS rate; a resolution approving a wage increase for full-time non-union city employees; resolutions authorizing the mayor to enter into agreements with Medical Mutual for health insurance coverage and with the State of Ohio, Developmental Services Agency for Administrative Services for the city’s Revolving Loan Fund.
• Third readings of resolutions authorizing the mayor to enter into agreement with the Fulton County Commissioners for indigent defense services in county court, and to enter into contract with Fulton County for a bail bondsman for Western District Court. They take effect in 30 days.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.