Wauseon plans memorial brick installation

By David J. Coehrs - [email protected]

Wauseon City Council covered a light agenda Monday that included the city’s purchase of memorial bricks and assisting a new business.

Wauseon Tree Commission member Rick Frey said he and other members approved the purchase of engraved 6- by 12-inch memorial bricks for $65 each from Artistic Memorials in Perrysburg, Ohio. The bricks will be placed alongside memorial trees planted by the city.

Frey reported that Stephanie Miller, a representative of Ohio’s Tree Commission Academy, interviewed the city’s Tree Commission members about the organization’s functioning level. He said Miller emphasized that the commission should develop a community forestry plan.

Frey said members agree the city’s Tree Commission ranks within the 75th to 80th percentile of those in the state.

He also noted a joint effort by the commission and the Wauseon Rotary Club to relocate unused city benches along the Indian Hill Trail adjacent to Homecoming Park.

Frey reported that the commission has applied for Wauseon to host a future Tree City USA event, and that member Larry Frey planted buckeye tree seedlings in the city’s parks.

Mayor Kathy Huner suggested the commission look into refurbishing a wooded area behind Wauseon Middle School originally created by the high school FFA chapter as a public attraction. Huner said the site, which includes a bridge, was too expensive for the FFA to maintain and has become overgrown.

Council passed on emergency a resolution allowing the city’s Revolving Loan Fund Committee to grant funds to Warrior Wings LLC, a new restaurant scheduled for construction at the intersection of Shoop Avenue and Linfoot Street. (See story on Page 1). Paired with a loan from Farmers and Merchants State Bank, the money will allow for the renovation of a former Marathon gas station at the site.

Council members approved a motion to accept a recommendation by the Buildings and Grounds Committee to purchase a holly bronze plaque commemorating the Wauseon Foundation and residents Tim and Suzanne Dennis for their combined $20,000 donation to purchase kiddie toys for the city pool. The plaque will cost $191.10.

In department reports:

• Fire Chief Rick Sluder said the department will assist the villages of Metamora and Archbold in launching Safety City programs this year for preschool children.

Sluder said the department teamed with the Archbold, Delta, Ridgeville, and Lyons fire departments for live burn training on a farmhouse at County Roads 14 and N donated by Jim and Sonya Ballmer. He said the Ridgeville Fire Department also provided coverage for the Wauseon department during the day.

He asked citizens to show patience for road construction projects and for slow farm equipment on area roads. Sluder said several recent traffic accidents have been attributed to impatient drivers.

“We encourage everybody to slow down a little bit in those zones,” he said.

Councilor Harold Stickley thanked the city fire department for its assistance following a multi-vehicle accident Memorial Day on the Ohio Turnpike that resulted in three deaths.

“I think Wauseon did a great job…on a very tragic day,” Stickley said.

• Police Chief Keith Torbet said 11 people have signed for the department’s Youth Academy, to begin June 10.

He said Safety City, scheduled June 5–14 and June 17–28 at Wauseon Primary School, is about $2,000 short of full funding. He said donations are still being accepted at the police station at 230 Clinton St. and at the school at 940 E. Leggett St.

• Public Service Director Dennis Richardson said the city pool was “used furiously” on its Memorial Day season opening. Admission was free that day.

He said crews are attempting to keep up with constant grass growth on city property caused by persistent rain. He said the city has resorted to unconventional methods to keep the grass mowed.

• Finance Director Jamie Giguere reported that city income tax revenue was down 6.5% in May compared to one year ago.

“I do not have an explanation,” she told Council, and said she plans to research why the city has suffered recent decreases in tax revenue.

• Law Director Tom McWatters III said he has begun work on a draft resolution proposing to transfer city recreational planning from the Wauseon Recreation Association to the city.

In other business, the council passed on emergency a resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into agreements with First Federal Bank and State Bank.

In new business, motions were passed to reappoint Michael Murry to the Charter Revision Commission for a three-year term and to appoint Dave Gerken to the city’s Revolving Loan Fund Committee. Council Shane Chamberlin cast the dissenting vote for Gerken’s appointment.

By David J. Coehrs

[email protected]

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

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