Raises approved for 3 Wauseon officials

By David J. Coehrs - dcoehrs@aimmediamidwest.com

Three Wauseon department heads were approved for possible raises at Monday’s City Council meeting.

Council members passed a motion accepting the Finance Committee’s recommendation to grant the city’s director of finance a 5% increase, and both the public service director and the police chief a 2.73% increase. The raises would cost the city an extra $5,698 for the rest of 2019. The amounts are based on a compilation of the salaries of comparable positions in other cities.

The Finance Committee’s recommendation was the result of Mayor Kathy Huner’s proposal to offer those raises. At the committee’s May 14 meeting, Huner said she wants a look at the city’s first quarter revenue before she decides whether to proceed.

The committee also approved a $5,000 budget for the city’s Wellness Committee, which promotes healthier lifestyles for city employees. The Wellness Committee was formed more than two years ago but has never had a budget.

“It could possibly save us some money in the long run, with healthier employees,” Finance Committee Chair Steve Schneider said.

The council also approved the committee’s recommendation to permit Finance Director Jamie Giguere to enter into agreements with State Bank and First Federal Bank. Neither bank currently has agreements with the city.

Street Committee Chair Jeff Stiriz reported that a citizen has requested blind crossing signs at the intersections of Clinton and Elm streets and Clinton and Oak streets. He said the signs were discussed but no action was taken.

At a Tree Commission meeting held May 8, member Kim Bowles said a motion was passed to purchase engraved bricks for the commission’s memorial tree program for $65 each from Artistic Memorials in Perrysburg, Ohio.

Member Pete Carr suggested that park benches the city has in storage can be placed along the Indian Hill Trail adjacent to Homecoming Park.

In department reports:

• Fire Chief Rick Sluder said a fire contract with Clinton Township is moving forward.

• Police Chief Keith Torbet said only four citizens have signed up for the department’s Use of Force class, resulting in the cancellation of the May 29 class.

Torbet said six young adults have signed for the Youth Police Academy scheduled June 10-14. The academy will accept a total of 15 youth.

And he reported that 61 children have been signed for this year’s Safety City classes. He said the event is 70% funded, “(so) we still need a few donations to come in.”

Torbet said the city’s Memorial Day parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, May 27, weather permitting. It will begin at the city’s administration building at 230 Clinton St. and end at Wauseon Union Cemetery.

• Public Service Director Dennis Richardson told Council the city pool should be ready to open on Memorial Day, which will be a free admission day. He said the pool has been granted a local license to operate, and a state inspection of the pool’s speed slide is scheduled this week.

Richardson said the city Public Works Department has almost finished construction of an open air pavilion in Reighard Park, and the Wabash Park water tower passed a one-year maintenance inspection. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has recommended a fence be built around the tower.

The OEPA also made its annual inspection of the city’s water treatment plant. Richardson said the agency made recommendations for improvements but gave no mandates.

• Finance Director Jamie Giguere said city financial statements are due to the state by May 30. She said a state audit of the city will be held this summer.

• Law Director Tom McWatters III said he’s working on a draft resolution that would transfer recreational planning from the Wauseon Recreation Association to the city. The draft was approved by Council at its May 6 meeting to spur discussion between city officials and WRA members.

In new business, Council members approved the purchase of kiddie toys for the city pool. The toys will be funded by donations totaling $20,000 from Tim and Suzanne Dennis and the Wauseon Foundation.

A Wauseon Rollercade application for a D1 liquor permit will proceed after no action by Council was taken.

Huner concluded Monday’s meeting by reading a thank-you letter from Delta Mayor Dan Miller for the city’s assistance during the motorcycle escort of the Eyes of Freedom exhibit.

By David J. Coehrs


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

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