Wauseon Council OKs new fire deal

By David J. Coehrs - dcoehrs@aimmediamidwest.com

Clinton Township will ask voters this November to support a new fire and emergency services levy that will combine with current levies scheduled to generate revenue through next year.

At a City Council meeting held Monday, members passed on emergency a resolution authorizing Mayor Kathy Huner to enter into the agreement with the township. According to Wauseon Fire Chief Rick Sluder, as part of its renewed fire contract with the city the township will place an additional 1.54-mill fire and emergency services levy on the fall ballot. The new five-year levy would generate $293,584 annually

It would complement the township’s current five-year fire-emergency levies: 0.8-mills, collecting $138,185 annually; and 0.3 mills, collecting $50,646 annually. Voters passed both in 2015.

Sluder said the new levy will be collected throughout the township. The city will receive 60% of the revenue, the township 40%.

The chief said this different funding model will help bring revenue to the city’s fire department.

“The money to operate the fire department is collected from the entire township, and not just through the city general fund,” Sluder said following the meeting.

In other business, Council passed a motion to accept a recommendation from the city’s Utility Committee to pay a $600 expense for a water line problem found to be the city’s responsibility.

At the committee’s Aug. 14 meeting, Indian Road resident Kayla Heising said the city’s Public Works Department investigated a longstanding water problem on her property and determined the cause to be her sanitary sewer line, which is not part of the city’s system. When Heising hired King Excavating of Wauseon to correct the problem the workers discovered the culprit was a tile installed on city property but not listed on the 1972 city schematic Public Works used during the investigation.

“She went ahead and dug, and through that process discovered that it was, in fact, a city issue,” said Shane Chamberlin, a Utility Committee member.

Heising told the committee the construction company corrected the problem, and requested the city foot the bill for the work. Chamberlin said the cost will be paid directly to the company.

Huner said she’s confident city workers performed the initial investigation properly.

“Unfortunately, as much as we try to acknowledge every line and every old tile…every once in awhile something will show up where it’s not on print. We just don’t know it’s there,” she said.

On a related topic, Public Service Director Keith Torbet said King Construction is complying with a request to register the company with the city.

In department reports:

• Police Chief Kevin Chittenden said the first round of interviews for a new assistant police chief will be completed this week.

He reminded citizens that the new school year has begun, and asked motorists to show patience with the increased traffic student transportation causes. “Slow down. Pay attention to the bus stops,” he said.

• Public Service Director Keith Torbet said a Leggett Street sidewalk project has been completed.

He said pool toys the city ordered were installed Aug. 14, and sanitary storm sewers have been completed on Zenobia Street, with taps installed for Habitat for Humanity houses scheduled for construction.

Torbet said traffic lights on Shoop Avenue at the intersections of Elm and Oak streets have been reset to a normal cycle. The lights’ timing was disrupted by street repaving work in those areas.

He also reported the city has received preliminary drawings for engineering work on South Shoop Avenue.

• Law Director Tom McWatters III said completion of a project to add 190 feet to a corridor between two wooded areas on the Indian Hills Trail is anticipated by mid-February of 2020. McWatters said the project will include a new path, developing a wetland, planting hardwood trees and an oak savanna, and adding birdhouses along the trail.

In further business, Council passed on emergency a resolution amending Ordinance 2018-1, to transfer a Public Employees Retirement System benefit from Jan Stamm, a retiring city assistant law director, to assistant law director Kevin Whitlock.


By David J. Coehrs


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

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