Council talks energy upgrades, sewage snafu

By David J. Coehrs - [email protected]

Jody Rabquer, of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, spoke about energy upgrades through PACE.

Jody Rabquer, of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, spoke about energy upgrades through PACE.

Wauseon building owners, and soon city residents, can receive help with energy improvements through a financing program, Wauseon City Council was told at a meeting held Monday.

Jody Rabquer, a spokesperson for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, said funding is available for energy improvements through the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs of the U.S. Department of Energy. She said the funding, which comes through a special assessment placed on a tax bill, offers fixed rate financing for up to 15 years.

Qualifying improvements include alternative, solar, wind, and geothermal energy, as well as insulation, windows, and HVAC.

Wauseon passed legislation in 2017 that set up a special improvement district through which the PACE programs are available. Rabquer said the port authority will launch a residential PACE program as soon as January.

“It’s a tool that I think a lot of times isn’t well-known, but it exists,” she said.

In other business, city Utility Committee member Harold Stickley said committee members met Nov. 4 with resident Rick Thompson regarding sewage back-up in his residence. Thompson said the back-up has occurred in his basement the past 28 years whenever the city receives two to four inches of rain.

Stickley told Council that city Public Works Department crews discovered clumps of tree roots in sanitary and storm sewers on the south side of Leggett Street near Thompson’s home. They also found sewer lines in the area of Chestnut and Brunell streets that have not been separated, and a sanitary sewer line which was clogged by both roots and three inches of sediment.

Stickley said the problem areas were cleaned out. “The city believes, and I’m speaking of Public Works, that with the work they’ve done it should eliminate the problems” on Burnell and Chestnut streets, and eliminate problems citizens have in that area, he said.

To that end, the committee took no action on Thompson’s complaint, deciding instead to wait on the results of the cleaning, Stickley said.

He said to modernize that section of the city’s infrastructure would cost an estimated $2.5 million.

Public Service Director Keith Torbet added, “At this point in time, there’s no reason to make that separation until we’ve got that new infrastructure in place to handle it.”

In department reports:

• Assistant Police Chief John Roof said the department will hold an Explorer open house for kids on Dec. 10 at 6 p.m.

He said the application deadline for Christmas for Kids is Friday, Nov. 22.

Roof also said interviews are being held for individuals who completed the patrolman’s test.

• Torbet said a generator has been installed at the city’s water treatment plant. He said a biosolids project there has been completed and “it’s working quite well for us.”

His office has met with Arcadis, a Toledo consultancy firm, regarding an intended South Shoop Avenue water line. Plans have been forwarded to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for for approval. The firm also consulted about algae problems at a water detention pond on Enterprise Avenue.

Torbet informed Council that city resident Craig Myers has filed a petition with the Fulton County Commissioners regarding proposed improvements for a county-owned storm water drainage pipe running across a field he owns at the intersection of Airport Highway and Ottokee Street.

He said Myers is requesting that other landowners feeding into the pipe be required to assist in paying for the proposed reconstruction based on the percentage of water draining from their properties into the pipeline. A public meeting about the petition will be held Tuesday, Dec. 31, at 9 a.m. in the commissioners’ second floor chambers at 152 N. Fulton St.

Torbet said any approved reconstruction of the drainage pipe wouldn’t occur sooner than 2020.

In legislation, Council members approved the following resolutions on emergency reading: authorizing the mayor to enter into agreement for a countywide Emergency Management Agency; recognizing Nov. 30 as Small Business Saturday; authorizing the mayor to enter into agreement with Ohio Plan Risk Management, Inc. for casualty, liability, fire, and property damage insurance; authorizing the mayor to appoint Steve Brown as housing officer to the Community Reinvestment Area.

The council also appointed Keith Torbet to the Wauseon Special Energy Improvement District.

Jody Rabquer, of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, spoke about energy upgrades through PACE. Rabquer, of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, spoke about energy upgrades through PACE.

By David J. Coehrs

[email protected]

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

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