Council agenda includes parks, recreation

By David J. Coehrs -

Discussion during a light agenda of Wauseon City Council on Monday included continued tweaks on the new community pool and updates to Reighard and Dorothy B. Biddle parks.

During a Park Board report by Councilor Rick Frey, he said a permit has been received to build an open air pavilion in Reighard Park between Imagination Kingdom and the pool area snack shack. He said during the pavilion’s construction, scheduled in six weeks, extra fill dirt will be used to shore up the grade on the west side of the pool.

The pool area will also receive landscaping treatment and repairs to drainage concerns inside the poolhouse. Additionally, a flag pole donated by VFW Post #7424 will be installed on the pool’s west side. Mayor Kathy Huner said the work was delayed until the new school year began this week.

Frey also mentioned that a removable stop sign will be placed on Oak Street next year during pool season, and a crosswalk will be painted in front of the pool.

Council members passed a motion to transform an old Reighard Park volleyball court into a pickleball court. The emerging sport combines badminton, tennis , and table ball.

Frey reported that Bruce Ernst Asphalt of Wauseon will complete paving at the north end of Dorothy B. Biddle Park by month’s end. And he relayed community complaints about dogs running in Homecoming Park without leashes.

Following questions by a couple of Council members, Law Director Tom McWatters III said an agreement between the city and the Wauseon Recreation Association is being refined but is essentially complete. It will be delivered to the WRA and discussed by Council before being granted approval.

Council members also passed a recommendation by the city’s Finance Committee to purchase an in-house alerting system and replace 10 aging pagers for the fire department, at a total cost of approximately $9,500.

In department reports:

• Fire Chief Rick Sluder said the department has lost two employees within the last month. One left for a similar position in Adrian, Mich., the other for work in Nashville, Tenn.

Sluder said the department is currently conducting fire prevention activities at the Fulton County Fairgrounds in preparation for the upcoming county fair.

• Police Chief Keith Torbet said the department’s next “Coffee With A Cop” event will be held in late September at Red Rambler Coffees, 1493 N. Shoop Ave.

He said the department is raffling a lunch with the school district’s SRO officer, John Borcherdt. Proceeds will benefit Christmas For Kids in Fulton County. The raffle is open to students, parents, and community members.

• Public Service Director Dennis Richardson said Mark Shadbolt has been named the city’s new recreation superintendent. He replaces Nel Rodriguez, who was appointed in 2016.

Richardson said Chris Oyer, assistant recreation superintendent, recently gave his notice. He said an in-house search for a replacement will be held until Aug. 31. If no one is hired by that date an outside replacement will be sought.

Richardson said he met with Wauseon schools superintendent Larry Brown to establish how much area the school district will need in the former Ohio Department of Transportation garage at 989 N. Shoop Ave. The school district plans to lease part of the facility for bus storage and maintenance.

Council members suspended the rule of three readings and passed on emergency a resolution authorizing the mayor to contract with either Constellation Energy of Baltimore, Md., or Freepoint Energy Solutions of Houston, Texas, in order to save costs on the purchase of electricity.

The Council entered into executive session to discuss personnel. No action was taken.

By David J. Coehrs

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

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