A proposal for a Wauseon dog park has been placed on hold while the city Park Board examines registration and liability issues.
Board member Scott Stiriz told Wauseon City Council on Monday the board is not comfortable recommending a dog park until it researches policies from cities that have them. The topic was broached at the board’s May 9 meeting by Mayor Kathy Huner, who received a request for a dog park.
Huner, who was absent from Monday’s meeting, had told the board the city would require dog owners to register their pets with the police department and pay a fee to have them in the dog park. An area would be set up away from playground equipment.
But board member Larry Zimmerman expressed concern that the city would be vulnerable to lawsuits if owners failed to keep their dogs on leashes. And board member Paul Harmon questioned how to determine which dogs are registered.
Stiriz said the proposal will be discussed further at the board’s June meeting.
In other Park Board news, he reported the city has erected a temporary fence around the site of the new community swimming pool.
He also said the south side of Dorothy B. Biddle Park will be added to this season’s cold process asphalt project. That portion of the park was to receive asphalt next year, but City Council approved additional funds so the entire project could be completed this summer.
Stiriz told the council an anticipated Homecoming Park trail project is on hold because conditions are too wet to complete work.
The meeting began with Police Chief Keith Torbet swearing in Marc Tanner, the police department’s newest officer. Tanner was pinned by his father, John Tanner.
In department reports:
• Second Assistant Fire Chief Jeremy Shirkey told the council the department has scheduled the city’s Fourth of July fireworks for July 3, with a rain date of July 4. He said, because the holiday falls in the middle of the week over the next three years, fireworks will likely be held on July 3 through 2019.
He said the Firemen’s Association will hold a fireworks fundraiser June 17 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Tiny’s Dairy Barn.
Shirkey also reported that the department has been invited to participate in the city’s Memorial Day parade on May 29, and has conducted public education in the school district during the current month.
• Torbet said 78 children are registered for the annual Safety City program scheduled to begin June 5. He said only two openings remain.
The department received a $2,000 grant from Norfolk Southern Railroad to help fund the event.
Torbet said the department’s Youth Police Academy will begin June 12. Only seven spots remain, and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The academy accepts youth from middle school to high school age.
Officer John Borcherdt has been named the new School Resource Officer, replacing longtime SRO Matt McDonough beginning with the 2017-18 school year.
And the local Healthy Choices Caring Communities Coalition will use grant money to donate about 40 no smoking signs scheduled to be placed in city parks. City Council recently approved an ordinance forbidding smoking in the parks.
• Public Service Director Dennis Richardson told council members the Village of Swanton will host an ethics training event for the State of Ohio.
He said his department is conducting a second round of interviews to select the city’s next assistant recreation superintendent.
Richardson said a new trailer placed in Biddle Park to act as a Parks and Recreation Department office received a final inspection. He said a certification of occupancy is expected to be received this week.
In new business, Council President Jeff Stiriz acknowledged a request for a liquor permit for Continental Plaza, Inc., Unit B and storeroom only, at 1265 N. Shoop Ave.
The council also approved the second reading of a resolution authorizing the mayor to advertise for, accept the lowest bid for, and enter into a contract for street resurfacing.
Stiriz closed the meeting by reading letters from area residents Ryan Nofziger and Jean Warner praising the actions of the city’s fire department and EMS crews, who responded to vehicle accidents in which the residents were involved.
Nofziger’s letter related how a surgeon said he should have died from injuries he sustained in the accident.
“I am extremely grateful for all that you have done for me. You saved my life and gave me a second chance with my four kids,” he wrote.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.
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