Wauseon City Council worked through a full agenda on Monday that included rezoning a house for sale and approving new positions within the administration.
Proceedings began with a brief joint meeting between the council and Clinton Township trustees Dave Murry, Larry Neuenschwander, and Ivan Hite. The purpose was to elect Murry to the Wauseon Union Cemetery Board.
Council then approved emergency passage of a resolution authorizing the rezoning of a land parcel at 1201 Ottokee St. from B2 – or highway service status – to R2, single family status. The change would allow for the purchase of the home.
Former Swanton resident Dwight Franklin, who intends to buy the house, told Council members, “We’re just trying to move forward as fast as possible, since we didn’t know it was zoned that way.”
Debbie Nelson, a member of the Wauseon Chili Cook-off Committee, spent several minutes extolling the cook-off which is scheduled for Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A 10-year committee member, Nelson said expenses for the event had to be reevaluated due to a decline in participation.
“Fewer groups were participating in the Chili Cook-Off,” Nelson told Council members. “The bottom line was, our expenses exceeded our revenue. So we took a loss last year.”
This year, however, more crafters and food vendors are attending, she said.
In a Safety and Code Committee report, Councilor Scott Stiriz said the committee would like to see the city code for mobile home setbacks, which allows for 20 feet, match that of the state, which permits 10 feet.
Stiriz also reported that Law Director Tom McWatters III has cited a city code error regarding signs in residential areas. The committee recommended the current language in the code stating feet versus inches be updated to read “800 square inches.”
Stiriz said research will be done regarding a suggestion to remove the “no turn on red” sign at Shoop Avenue and Linfoot Street. Police Chief Keith Torbet, who attended the meeting, said LED lights or a more clarifying sign about yielding to oncoming traffic could be installed.
The committee also received a request to update the city code with the 2017 fire code, replacing the 2011 fire code.
Council members approved a recommendation by the Personnel Committee to set pay scale classifications for new part-time human resource officer and tax commissioner positions within the city administration, at $18.30 to $21.96 per hour and $17.43 to $20.92 per hour, respectively.
“We’re confident that we can find quality candidates for those positions based upon those wage scales,” committee member Shane Chamberlin said.
The new positions were approved at Council’s Sept. 4 meeting.
Chamberlin told the council the committee is upholding disciplinary action the city took against Wauseon Fire Department Lt. Marcus Schuette. Schuette received a verbal warning for an undisclosed violation. Chamberlin previously told the Expositor the infraction was covered in an executive session and therefore not subject to public disclosure.
Council members passed a motion permitting the city’s midget football team to use one end of a barn in Dorothy B. Biddle Park. The agreement specifies the team would pay for any modifications it makes to that area of the barn.
Committee member Rick Frey said the members voted against permitting the Fulton County Health Department to place advertising signs in the city’s parks. “We thought that, if we start with them, where do we stop?” he said.
Huner said she wanted to clarify that park signs indicating donors will stay up.
Frey said other Park Board discussions included converting a Reighard Park volleyball court to a Pickleball court; repairing city tennis courts; the final area of Biddle Park parking lots to be resurfaced; an open air pavilion to be constructed in Reighard Park, beginning in about three weeks; and the impending arrival of a new slide for the city pool, which will be installed for next season. The pool closed for the year on Sept. 13.
The Building and Grounds Committee reported that a commemorative bronze plaque costing $762.30 will be installed at the city pool. It will list the names of present and past City Council members active during the campaign for the pool, Public Service Director Dennis Richardson, and the project’s contractor, Rupp Rosebrock Inc. The plaque also will extend thanks to the citizens of Wauseon.
Council passed a motion to pay for the plaque with money budgeted for the council.
In department reports:
• Assistant Fire Chief Phil Kessler said the department will develop a fire safety program for city schools.
He said the department will be offering a civil service test.
• Police Chief Keith Torbet said this will be the 24th year the department will receive a government grant to fund victim advocacy programs.
• Public Service Director Dennis Richardson said fall clean-up is underway in the city, and will be available through Saturday.
• Law Director Tom McWatters III reported that a draft lease has been transmitted for consideration to Wauseon schools for their use of the former Ohio Department of Transportation garage at 989 N. Shoop Ave. McWatters said the school district is requesting several tweaks to the lease.
He said the final revisions to proposed Wauseon Recreation Association regulations are nearly ready for review by the organization and the city.
City Council also approved first readings of ordinances or resolutions regarding: accepting amounts and rates determined by the Budget Commission, and the authorization and certification of necessary tax levies; amending section 957 of the city’s codified ordinances to add a section entitled, “Municipal Reservoir”; amending Chapter 377 of the city’s codified ordinances.
Emergency passage was approved for a resolution authorizing the mayor to enter an agreement with S&S Directional Boring of Bryan to replace an Ottokee Street sanitary sewer.
In new business, a motion was passed “to waive any hearing before the Fulton County Budget Commission regarding the apportionment of the Undivided Local Government Fund,” and agree to accept $134,761.25 as the city’s share of the fund.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.