Ohio Gas wants basic service charge increase

By David J. Coehrs - dcoehrs@aimmediamidwest.com

Ohio Gas Company has asked the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to approve doubling its basic monthly service charge, according to Wauseon’s public service director.

Dennis Richardson told Wauseon City Council at its meeting Monday the gas company wants a 100 percent increase, from $5.45 to $10.91. The last time the company raised the monthly basic service charge was in 1985.

On the Ohio Gas website, the company claims that even with the proposed increase the basic service charge is comparable to those of other natural gas companies in the state. A decision is expected by early 2018.

Due to the generosity of county residents and businesses, 42 underprivileged children in Fulton County will shop for Christmas gifts, Wauseon’s police chief reported to City Council.

Chief Keith Torbet said at Monday’s meeting enough money was raised for Christmas for Kids in Fulton County to fund a shopping excursion Dec. 16. He said the children will enjoy breakfast in the fire station at 9 a.m., then be transported by police and emergency vehicles using lights and sirens to Walmart on Airport Highway. Each will receive a Walmart gift card and shop with assistance from their parents and police officers.

The children were recommended by Fulton County Job and Family Services and by applications filled out at Wauseon’s police station. The program is a collaborative effort of the county’s police and fire/EMS departments and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.

In other business, City Council members requested semi-regular meeting appearances by the city’s recreation superintendent.

While discussing new business, Council President Jeff Stiriz said council members would like Nel Rodriguez to give a report once a month at a council meeting. Councilor Heather Kost agreed, saying members want to keep abreast of Park and Recreation activities.

“There are a lot of little details that we’d like to hear, and ask questions,” she said. “We all have questions about the programs that exist, and that we want to see created, and the newer programs that have been created and how well they’re received.”

Councilor Shane Chamberlin added, “The amount of folks that he impacts in the city – it’s a huge number. And asking that he attend a 15-20 minute meeting once a month, I wouldn’t say that’s asking too much.”

Mayor Kathy Huner agreed, although she suggested Rodriguez make quarterly visits to the meetings rather than monthly. She also agreed the superintendent should make a report at a council meeting before the end of December.

There were no committee reports on the agenda.

In department reports:

• Fire Chief Rick Sluder said bids open next week for a construction project to add sleeping rooms to the fire department and renovate police department offices.

Sluder also reported the department will be involved with appearances by Santa Claus at the Wauseon Depot.

• Police Chief Keith Torbet announced the next in a series of Coffee With A Cop events will be held Friday, Dec. 15, 7:30-9 a.m., at Red Rambler Coffees, 1493 N. Shoop Ave.

• Public Service Director Dennis Richardson mentioned the purchase and installation of a lime slaking machine for the city’s water plant without benefit of a bidding process. At the council’s Committee of the Whole meeting held Nov. 30, Richardson discussed a model manufactured in Michigan that doesn’t require special permits or engineering for installation. He said current slaking machines are old and expensive and inconvenient to service.

Later in the meeting, the council approved on suspension of three readings and emergency passage a resolution to approve purchase and installation of a lime slaking system at the water treatment plant without bid. It becomes effective immediately.

Richard reported that ARS Refuse Service in Archbold was the only bidder for Wauseon service. The price of a garbage tag will increase to $1.30.

He also reported: the Public Works Department will collect leaves, then begin collecting brush; the only probable work on the new city pool this winter will be masonry block work inside the pool house next week; bids for chemical purchases for the city’s water and wastewater treatment plants were to open Wednesday; a bid packet has been prepared for painting the Wabash Park water tower; and the city will advertise for a biosolids handling project at the wastewater treatment plant.

• Finance Director Jamie Giguere reported the city’s income tax revenue increased by almost six percent over the same period last year.

During new business, the council appointed Councilors Shane Chamberlin and Rick Frey to one-year terms on the Volunteer Fire Fighters Dependents Board.

Council members also approved:

• The suspension of three readings and emergency passage of: an ordinance to approve, adopt, and enact 2017 replacement pages to the city’s codified ordinances; a resolution adjusting the wage scale of the city compensation plan, based on the Consumer Price Index. Both are effective immediately.

• The second readings of the following resolutions: authorizing the mayor to enter into agreement for indigent defense services in county court with the Fulton County Commissioners; authorizing the mayor to contract with Fulton County for bail bondsmen for Western District Court.

• A third reading of a resolution authorizing the mayor to contract with the Fulton County Commissioners for city-county dog services. It becomes enacted in 30 days.


By David J. Coehrs


Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.

Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.