Wauseon residents will have to wait a week or so longer than expected for the grand opening of the new community pool.
At a City Council meeting held Monday, a date between June 5-7 was proposed for the debut, although even that is speculative, according to a report issued by Public Service Director Dennis Richardson, who did not attend the meeting.
The pool is scheduled for filling beginning Thursday. The Astro Pool Company of Mansfield, Ohio, will begin balancing the water chemistry May 29, then the pool faces a final, stringent inspection from the state health department.
“It all depends on the how the inspection goes,” said Mayor Kathy Huner, who presented Richardson’s report.
The city had hoped to unveil the pool during a Memorial Day weekend dedication.
An approximately $55,000 speed slide reattached to the pool project and approved by the council May 7 must be manufactured and installed, a separate project that will take 14 to 16 weeks to complete. It will likely be introduced near the end of this year’s pool season.
Pool passes went on sale this week on the second floor of the city building at 230 Clinton St.
The Council meeting began as an annual joint meeting with Clinton Township Trustees Perry Rupp, Ivan Hite, and Larry Neuenschwander. The council and the trustees approved the reappointment of at-large member and former Fulton County Common Pleas Court Judge James Barber to the Wauseon Cemetery Board for a three-year term expiring in 2022.
In other business, Building and Grounds Committee Chair Harold Stickley reported the Wauseon school district has expressed interest using the main part of the former Ohio Department of Transportation building at Shoop Avenue and Linfoot Street as a maintenance building for its buses. Stickley said the city is considering a five-year agreement with the school district in which the district would be responsible for maintaining the property and paying all utilities and property debts.
A legal draft of an agreement is being prepared by city Law Director Tom McWatters III.
But Council did briefly debate the school district’s intention to enclose the property with a chain-link fence. Council President Jeff Stiriz objected, saying the presence of the fence would lessen the aesthetics of that business portion of Shoop Avenue. He said the city would likely deny installation of a similar fence if requested by surrounding businesses.
Councilor Shane Chamberlin agreed, saying, “I’m concerned about the visual appeal.”
Huner said a fence would have to be installed if school buses are stored on the property. She suggested that installing a taller privacy fence that obscured the buses from the street would look as unappealing.
McWatters suggested the city continue to negotiate that term with the school district before a decision is made.
Council passed a motion 6-0 approving the Finance Committee’s recommendation for an economic impact study concerning creating more fields in Dorothy B. Biddle Park. The $9,500 economic study would be produced by Bowling Green State University.
Committee Chair Steve Schneider said the study is necessary before proceeding with such a project. “No sense spending money building fields if it’s not going to have a positive impact,” he said.
Park Board Chair Rick Frey expressed concern that citizens are ignoring a posted regulation about picking up their pets’ waste in Homecoming Park. The park was designated a dog-friendly park in July 2017.
Huner said the problem is exacerbated by residents surrounding the park who allow their dogs to defecate in the park rather than in their yards. “We just need to know that if we want to continue to have (a dog-friendly park)…that was one of the big issues,” she said.
Huner said unless people begin using containers provided in the park to dispose of dog waste “it’s going to be very unhealthy very soon.”
Police Chief Keith Torbet said city ordinances require people to pick up their pet’s waste or face a citation.
Frey also reported that a timer has been installed at basketball courts in Biddle Park, allowing for play until 10 p.m.
In department reports:
• Fire Chief Rick Sluder said five department members attended a training session in Columbus on new CPR guidelines.
He said Fourth of July fireworks will be held in Biddle Park on July 3.
Sluder also said the department has received a final occupancy permit for a recent construction project in which sleeping rooms were added.
• Police Chief Keith Torbet said the department’s annual Youth Police Academy scheduled for June 4 is still accepting applications. The academy gives priority to Wauseon students.
He said the annual Safety City for preschoolers is also scheduled for June 4. Enrollment is down this year, but Torbet attributes that in part to a smaller incoming kindergarten class. Safety City is currently 50 percent funded; the department continues to accept donations.
Torbet said donations in higher amounts than usual are being received. “People that have been giving for years are giving just a little bit more, and we greatly appreciate that,” he said.
He also mentioned that the school year ends Thursday. “Keep an eye out for the kiddos who will be out running around during the day,” he added.
• In his report, Public Service Director Dennis Richardson also noted that the Wabash Park water tower work is complete. He said the tower is filled and back in service.
Huner closed the meeting by reading letters the city received from citizens lauding the efforts and professionalism of the city fire department.
Council also approved:
• The first reading of a resolution amending a 2017 city ordinance by authorizing Director of Finance Jamie Giguere to increase the city Drug Fund by $40,000, using money collected from a drug case.
• The suspension of three readings and emergency passage of resolutions authorizing the mayor to contract with The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS), a purchasing system and cooperative effort to retain lower prices for political subdivisions; and authorizing the mayor to contract with Duro-Last Inc. and Gilliland and Son Roofing.
• The second reading of a resolution authorizing the mayor to enter a participation agreement regarding energy purchasing programs of the Ohio Municipal League.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.