An increase in water rates, including service fees, were the main topic of Monday’s Wauseon City Council meeting.
Following a discussion during a report by the city Utility Committee, Council members approved a 6% increase in both city water and sewer rates beginning April 1, as well as increases to $50 for a shut-off fee and $100 for an after-hours water restoration fee.
Giguere made a presentation about the rate increases during a Committee of the Whole meeting held last week. She said the rates can be reevaluated, and adjusted if necessary, each year.
Council also approved the installation of a street light in front of Greener Results, a South Brunell Street business. Owner Brad Porter will be required by the city code to split the cost of installation with the city, although the city’s responsibility is capped at $1,000.
In other business, Councilor Harold Stickley questioned Mayor Kathy Huner about her decision to remove city department head reports from the bi-monthly City Council meetings. Huner eliminated the reports by the police and fire chiefs and the public service, finance, and law directors on Jan. 4, saying they were better suited for Committee of the Whole meetings, which are held the week prior to Council meetings. Huner said hearing the reports earlier helps Council members prepare for their meetings.
Stickley wondered whether eliminating the reports from Council meetings violated a city code, at which time Law Director Tom McWatters III described the code in question. Stickley told Huner he disagreed with the way she made the decision. Councilors Shane Chamberlin and Steve Schneider also said they’d prefer the reports during Council meetings.
Huner said she would take their comments into consideration.
During a Tree Commission report, member Patrick Griggs said Wauseon will host the 2021 Tree City USA event on June 16 at the Homecoming Park pavilion. He said the cost will be paid through the city budget. Local businessman Nate Andre will offer a presentation on his composting facility.
In department reports presented last week:
• Police Chief Kevin Chittenden reported that two Wauseon officers represented the city at the funeral service for Toledo police officer Brandon Stalker, who was killed by gunfire on Jan. 18.
Chittenden also reported that Emily Hileman of Toledo has been hired as a second full-time dispatcher for the department. She was among eight candidates for the job.
• Public Service Director Keith Torbet said plans have been submitted to expand the community pool snack shack by 200 feet. He said the plan will allow for hot food items to be sold.
Torbet said the city’s Holiday Committee is discussing Christmas decorations for 2021, and whether it can build on the citywide holiday lights contest heldlast year.
He also requested renewed membership with the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments at a cost of $1,113. Council approved.
• Finance Director Jamie Giguere announced the March 31 retirement of the city’s assistant finance director and asked Council to schedule a Personnel Committee meeting to discuss the position.
The council approved the third and final reading of a resolution authorizing the mayor to enter an agreement with Schoenhardt & Associates for accounting services related to generally accepted accounting principles.
Council members also held a brief joint meeting with Clinton Township trustees to appoint Bob Krumm to the Wauseon Union Cemetery Board.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.