Wauseon school teachers were educated on the sound of gunfire at an in-service session on active shooters, Police Chief Kevin Chittenden told Wauseon City Council members at their Monday meeting.
During his regular report to the council, Chittenden said blank rounds were fired in the school building during the recent in-service which he and Assistant Chief John Roof attended. He said the purpose was to help the district’s teaching staff recognize the sound of gunshots fired, “opening their eyes to the kind of stuff that – they might not know exactly what’s going on right when that first happens.”
Some teachers likened the sound to a door slamming somewhere distant in the building, Chittenden said.
He added that school resource officer John Borcherdt will undergo a refresher course in Alert, Lock Down, Inform, Counter, Evacuate (ALICE) active shooter response training.
First Assistant Fire Chief Phil Kessler said representatives from his department also attended the in-service to discuss their response to various calls from the school district.
Street Committee member Scott Stiriz reported that the Ohio Department of Transportation has requested the city make sidewalks compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) along the South Shoop Avenue route ODOT plans to resurface.
Public Service Director Keith Torbet said Chestnut and Cherry streets in the targeted area are already ADA compliant but Leggett, Superior, and Detwiler streets are not. He requested the sidewalks in question be added to ODOT’s initial plans to save engineering costs.
Torbet told Council he has procured budget money to re-stripe city streets but can’t guarantee the job will be completed this year.
Tree Commission member Rick Frey said he and commission member Larry Frey will assess trees in the city’s parks to determine which should be removed.
He also said more than 20 volunteers from Worthington Steel in Delta will plant trees and install benches Oct. 2 along Indian Hill Trail adjacent to Homecoming Park.
In response to an inquiry by Mayor Kathy Huner, Frey said the committee hasn’t yet decided on a venue for the 2021 Tree City USA event, which the city will host.
In department reports:
• Fire Chief Phil Kessler said the department has inspected the city’s school buildings, and is preparing for Fire Prevention Month in October.
In response to Council members’ praise for the department’s help in battling the recent MetalX fire in Delta, Kessler said, “It’s always one thing to have a big fire, but when you pull 70-plus departments together and coordinate and work together it’s a pretty amazing feat.”
• Police Chief Kevin Chittenden said the department will host “Coffee With A Cop” on Friday, Oct. 4, 8-9 a.m., at McDonald’s, 1375 N. Shoop Ave.
Chittenden displayed a Wauseon City Marshal badge he purchased after it was discovered by antique collectors at a local estate sale. He said research conducted by himself and former Fulton County Expositor publisher Bob Krumm revealed the badge was used between 1857 and 1871. He said after the latter date the city reverted to a police department for law enforcement.
• Public Service Director Keith Torbet said a biosolids project at the city’s Water Reclamation Plant has been completed and came about $50,000 under budget.
He said tree-damaged city sidewalks will be repaired, and noted the city pool officially closed Sept. 8.
• Law Director Tom McWatters III reported continued work on the city’s handbook. He said the book’s procedures and policies are being recast to reflect current-day requirements.
Council members approved the second reading of the city’s “slow-moving vehicle” ordinance, which permits a revisit of inspections where appropriate. McWatters said the ordinance provides flexibility in cases where a utility vehicle, slow-moving vehicle, mini-truck or underspeed vehicle is determined to not be legitimate in its specific category after being registered.
He said in certain situations the definitions for the categories can be difficult to apply and interpret.
In new business, Huner sang the praises of the Wauseon Chili Cook Off, held last Saturday. “It’s short but it’s a good time,” she said.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.