Mayor Kathy Huner commended the City of Wauseon for its recognition by State Auditor Dave Yost during a brisk City Council meeting held Monday.
Huner held up an Ohio Audit of State Award presented to Finance Director Jamie Giguere’s office for the city’s unblemished financial report. She read the award’s accompanying statement praising the city’s “exemplary” status, adding, “Meaning no faults. We did very well.”
In a letter of congratulations, Yost said the award is given to entities that file timely financial reports and receive a clean audit. “Clean and accurate record-keeping are the foundation for good government, and the taxpayers can take pride in your commitment to accountability,” he wrote.
The council meeting began with a varied Park Board report by board member Heather Kost. She began by stating a concrete soccer wall adjacent to the north concession stand in Dorothy B. Biddle Park is nearly completed. Kost said the work on the wall, and other concrete work around the city, had been delayed due to rainy weather.
She said Public Works Superintendent Dave Murry estimated the cost of installing blacktop in Biddle Park at $4 to $5 per square foot. The city is considering adding blacktop in sections or specifically to create handicap-accessible areas. The project will cost approximately $50,000.
In other projects, the city has installed sidewalks on Elm Street and in Biddle Park. Huner said she has received a dozen compliments about the Elm Street sidewalks, adding, “Most of them are coming from the people out there that are utilizing them.”
The Park Board will consider a request by a midget football organization for a small building by the park’s soccer field for equipment storage, as well as restrooms and a concession stand. The board also reported that sidewalks have been completed in Reighard Park, and that it has discussed installing security cameras outside restrooms there to discourage vandalism.
The board has suggested submitting a “wish list” of ideas regarding its 2016 budget. This year’s budget is $234,885.
Park Board meetings will now be held monthly in the city’s parks, beginning with a Sept. 15 meeting in Rotary Park.
In department reports:
• Regional Planning Director David Wright said the next phase of a playground project at Sara’s Garden involves the installation of fencing, lighting, and security cameras.
He said his office continues working with engineering services and city business owners regarding Community Development Block Grant revitalization projects in the downtown area.
• Police Chief Keith Torbet reported that a Citizens Police Academy is scheduled to begin in September, but the department has received few applications. He said if not more than five applications are submitted after the first week in September the program will be canceled.
Torbet also requested a September meeting with the city’s Safety and Code Committee to discuss possible legislation regarding the use of drones and open-carry restrictions. He said he’ll gather legal opinions on the proposed legislation before addressing the committee.
• Code Administrator Tom Hall said sidewalk installation on a portion of Lawrence Avenue is scheduled for mid-September, during the week following the Fulton County Fair.
He also reported that nine units of a Glenwood Avenue residential project by developer Tim Dennis are in the process of being rented.
• Public Service Director Dennis Richardson told the council initial drawings for the upcoming Linfoot Street renovation project have been created. He said an Aug. 13 informational meeting held for residents being affected by the project drew about 40 people. Following a presentation, an open house was held so the residents could review the project plans.
“Overall, we did a decent job of informing the affected landowners,” Richardson said.
He also reported that bids for road salt open Friday in the council’s chambers.
In new business, council members accepted a letter of retirement from Marcia Grant, assistant director of finance, effective Sept. 30.
Before the public portion of the meeting concluded, Huner lauded a recent family movie night held in Reighard Park by the Chamber of Commerce. She estimated that 300 children attended with their parents to watch the film “Frozen” on an outdoor screen.
“It was an amazing night. It was just a great thing to see,” Huner said.
Council members also approved the following legislation:
• The first reading of a resolution amending the 2014-16 annual appropriation ordinance by authorizing Giguere to increase or decrease line account appropriations within various 2015 funds.
• The second reading of a resolution authorizing Huner to advertise for bids to repaint the east clarifier at the water treatment plant, and authorizing her to accept the lowest and best bid and, as such, enter into a contract.
The council entered into executive session to discuss the purchase or sale of real estate property. No action was taken.
David J. Coehrs can be reached at 419-335-2010.