Wauseon City Council touched mainly on city projects Monday during a light agenda.
Police Chief Kevin Chittenden opened the meeting by introducing the city’s newest police officer, Michael Oehlers. The 34-year-old Maumee native recently completed training. Oehlers previously worked as security for an armored car company.
Chittenden said the department worked with Troy Armstrong, Wauseon schools superintendent, to update a memorandum of understanding for John Borcherdt, school resource officer (SRO). He said such an agreement hasn’t been in place with the school district since 2001.
Asked by Council President Shane Chamberlin whether the department considered an SRO a high priority, Chittenden said Borcherdt’s presence in the schools is important and necessary.
“I think it’s a great program as far as building a relationship with the kids,” he said. He added that an SRO bridges a relationship between the police department and the schools that includes security threat assessments, safety issues at sporting events, using school buildings for police training, and reintroducing the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program to the school district.
Borcherdt was named SRO in 2017.
In other department reports, Fire Chief Rick Sluder said two new hires are undergoing final procedures before their employment is announced.
Public Service Director Keith Torbet reported that bids will open Feb. 7 for a water line project on South Shoop Avenue.
He said city administrators have met with representatives of Arcadis, a consulting firm, to discuss erosion issues at a small city reservoir. Torbet said work on the reservoir, which the city hopes to start in the spring, will go up for bid soon.
His office has also discussed a plan to mitigate an algae problem in a detention pond on Enterprise Avenue. Torbet said the pond will be tested to determine whether to clean it or fill it in.
And he said that, despite speculation on Facebook, a miniature train featured at the Wauseon Depot has not been stolen. Amid chuckles from Council members, Torbet said the city’s Public Works Department removed the train to restore it. He said the department will attempt to make the model appear more like an authentic train.
Finance Director Jamie Giguere reported that Group Audit Form worksheets are being sent to the city’s accountant in order to begin city financial statements.
Council members passed the first reading of an ordinance to amend Section 1144.01 of the city’s codified ordinance to redefine the term “administrator” to mean “Code Administrator of Director of Public Service.” They also passed, on emergency, an ordinance setting rates of compensation for members of the city’s legal team.
In new business, Council approved a motion to reappoint Andrea Gerken for a two-year term as Clerk of Council, from Feb. 1, 2020, to Jan. 31, 2022.
The council also approved a motion to change the starting time for Committee of the Whole meetings from 7:45 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. When Mayor Kathy Huner asked why the change was necessary, Chamberlin said, in a moment of levity, that the committee members’ discussions “tend to be a bit windy.”
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.