Sidewalks and where to install them was a main topic of discussion during Monday’s Wauseon City Council meeting.
Street Committee member Jeff Stiriz reported that during a Nov. 18 meeting Public Service Director Keith Torbet presented a map showing city areas needing sidewalks and streets that don’t have them. Torbet recommended installation next year beginning with the area around the Pat West subdivision and Barney Oldfield Drive neighborhood. Stiriz, however, said the first target should be Shoop Avenue.
“With the (walking) trail being there, a lot of people use Linfoot Street for walking,” he told Council.
Following some discussion, Council members approved a recommendation to install sidewalk on Shoop Avenue from just past the Dollar General Store at 773 N. Shoop Ave. to the former city garage building at the intersection of Shoop Avenue and Linfoot Street.
Stiriz said Torbet also requested an update to Chapter 1144 of the city’s codified ordinances to permit the city’s public service director or a designee to enforce sidewalk code. Stiriz said the city’s code administrator usually has that authority but that position is currently vacant.
In other business, the council approved a motion to table approval of a proposed city employee handbook drafted with assistance by Clemans Nelson and Associates, a Dublin, Ohio, business management consultant firm. Personnel Committee member Shane Chamberlin said the committee received a copy of the handbook and discussed it at length during a Nov. 21 meeting, including sections addressing facial hair, tattoos, and nepotism.
“It was a broad-ranging meeting. It covered a lot of different topics,” he said.
Chamberlin said the handbook will undergo further review.
The city’s Tree Commission met Nov. 13, and discussed placing a warning sign for deep water at the site of a wetlands between the wooded areas surrounding the Indian Hill Trail adjacent to Homecoming Park. Member Rick Frey said the water there is a few feet deep.
He said members also discussed cutting down cottonwood trees at Rotary Park that have become a nuisance.
No action was taken at the meeting.
Council members accepted a letter of resignation from Councilor Rick Frey, who was elected in November as a Clinton Township trustee. He will serve on City Council until Dec. 31.
In department reports:
• Fire Chief Rick Sluder said a civil service test is scheduled Dec. 13-14 for paramedic and EMT firefighter applicants.
He said the department will meet with Dover Township trustees to finalize the township’s fire contract.
• Police Chief Kevin Chittenden said a total of 50 children representing every school district have been selected to participate in Christmas for Kids in Fulton County on Dec. 14. One hundred and fifty-six children applied.
Chittenden said the number was limited to 50 due to the approximately $5,500 in donations collected – down from about $7,000 last year – and the limited number of first responders available to participate in the shopping spree. He said a lack of enough personnel last year left each first responder as a shopping partner for several of the 74 children who were selected rather than as partner for just one.
“It kind of hurt the experience a little bit because we didn’t have quite that one-on-one time, and it made you kind of rush a little bit,” Chittenden said.
The children selected will have breakfast at the Wauseon Fire Department, then be transported in a caravan of emergency vehicles to Walmart, where each will receive a $100 gift card.
• Public Service Director Keith Torbet said chemical bids for the city were opened Nov. 22. He said the bids progressed normally.
Torbet said for the third consecutive year a photo by Clem Kutzli, Water Reclamation Plant superintendent, is being featured in the annual calendar issued by Ohio Water Environment Association.
Council members voted to pass on emergency an ordinance to approve, adopt, and enact 2019 replacement pages to the city’s codified ordinances; and resolutions authorizing the mayor to enter into agreement with Pareto Captive Services, Sun Life Financial, and Mutual Health Services for city employees’ health insurance in 2020, and with Met Life to provide life insurance and voluntary dental and vision insurance for full-time city employees.
The council also approved the third reading of a resolution authorizing the mayor to renew an agreement with Schoenhardt and Associates for accounting services.
In new business, Councilors Shane Chamberlin and Scott Stiriz were appointed to the Volunteer Firefighters Dependents Board.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.