Despite the city’s best efforts, this may be the last year for the Wauseon Chili Cook-Off and Family Fest, Mayor Kathy Huner announced at a City Council meeting held Tuesday.
“The problem is not people coming to it, the problem is not the attendance…it’s getting the vendors to make the chili,” Huner told Council members. “We have to have the vendors to make the chili which is expensive.”
She said the cook-off did not take place for a few years for that reason. Thirteen vendors have committed themselves to this year’s event, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“We’re trying to keep it because it’s a good thing,” Huner said. “The people love it. It’s just making the chili is very difficult. It’s not that we don’t want to do it, because we do.”
In other business on the light meeting agenda, Council members passed a motion asking Police Chief Keith Torbet to conduct a survey of Old Orchard subdivision residents regarding additional street lighting in the neighborhood. The vote came after Huner took exception to Utility Committee member Shane Chamberlin’s announcement that such a survey is ready for distribution.
“We’re engaging the folks who live in that neighborhood to find out if there’s an overwhelming interest in street lights,” he said.
Huner questioned why that decision was not included in the meeting’s minutes, saying Council members should be aware that a survey is being distributed in the community. She said discussion of a similar survey was broached around 2005 but “for some reason they never went forward with it.”
Chamberlin said the survey wasn’t included in the minutes because it was an idea he pitched to Police Chief Keith Torbet after the Utility Committee meeting had ended.
“I think a survey’s a great idea,” Huner said. “I was just wondering who asked to do the survey, and was it agreed by all the committee members to have a survey.”
The committee also discussed the city’s handling of unpaid water bills within land contracts. Chamberlin said Jamie Giguere, the city’s finance director, had asked for clarification. He said Law Director Tom McWatters III explained that liability is assigned to both parties in a land contract agreement.
The council also approved the committee’s recommendation to hire S&S Directional Boring of Bryan to replace sanitary sewer pipe on North Ottokee Street.
During a Building and Grounds Committee report, Council members traded thoughts about whose names should be included on a commemorative bronze plaque the city will purchase from Hit Trophy of Archbold for the site of the new community pool. During the long discussion, Huner suggested including the names of Council members past and present who served during the pool’s planning and construction,
Clerk of Council Andrea Gerken mentioned that Council President Jeff Stiriz, who was not present for the meeting, preferred a plaque that listed simply the mayor, Council members, the date the pool opened, and the name of the contractor, Rupp-Rosebrock Inc.
Council members ultimately passed a motion recommending a plaque be purchased. The Building and Grounds Committee will continue discussion of potential names to be listed.
The council also approved the committee’s recommendation to approve the draft lease to be presented to the Wauseon school district regarding its rental of a portion of the former Ohio Department of Transportation garage located at 989 N. Shoop Ave. The school district would use the garage for bus storage and maintenance.
During a Personnel Committee report, Council members approved a recommendation to pursue new part-time positions for a human resources officer and an income tax commissioner within the city’s Finance Department.
In new business, the council passed 4-1 a motion to schedule a public hearing for Monday, Sept. 17, at 5 p.m., regarding an application to rezone property at 1201 N. Ottokee St. from a B2 highway service designation to an R2 single family designation. Councilor Scott Stiriz abstained from the vote.
The application was made to allow for the sale of a single family residence.
In department reports, Giguere said city income tax revenue is down 3.78 percent. McWatters said Council members will be presented next week for review amendments to a city ordinance concerning marijuana paraphernalia.
The council also approved the first reading of a resolution authorizing Giguere to “increase or decrease certain line account appropriations within the various funds listed within the year of 2018.”
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.