Wauseon City Council members got a preview Monday of the police department’s updated insignia and patrol car designs in honor of its upcoming sesquicentennial.
Police Chief Keith Torbet said in the the interest of incorporating more community spirit into the department the vehicle design was created by the department with assistance from Wauseon High School art instructor Mike Colon. It depicts the Wauseon Indian incorporated into the current design, with a black, red, and white color scheme.
The police patch insignia was updated by Sgt. Jose Gonzales, who also incorporated the Indian head.
Police Chief Keith Torbet said the new designs will make their debuts before the 150th anniversary of the Wauseon police force in 2020.
During a busy agenda, City Council approved 6-0 the Personnel Committee’s recommendation to hire interns through through the Defiance College Criminal Justice Department and the college’s Ready Internship Grant.
This year marks the first time the college is offering a grant program to pay the interns for their time with Wauseon police. The students also receive three college credits.
“I think it’s kind of beneficial as a college student that they get paid for their internship,” Councilor Heather Kost said.
The college requires 150 hours from interns, Kost said. She said Torbet suggested the interns work 30 of those hours before they begin getting paid the $8.10 per hour salary designated through the grant program.
Torbet added, “This is the first time we’ve ever had the opportunity to even offer the intern anything for their work.” He said to his knowledge Defiance College is the only college offering the interns payment. The City of Wauseon is required to pay 20 percent of the salary, which equals $1.65.
Representing the Finance Committee, Councilor Jon Schamp said the panel has discussed the possibility of extending the assessment period for Glenwood Street property owners an additional eight years. The assessments are scheduled to come due in 2025.
Because the original plan was designed for 20 years, and nine years remain in that plan, “we didn’t have any reason at this time to make an extension,” Schamp reported. “But we would like to see this revisited in five years.”
He said by 2021 the city will have a better idea of what Glenwood Street land has been developed and what land remains undeveloped and would need assistance. “So we opted to do nothing at this time,” Schamp said.
The Finance Committee met with Glenwood Street owners in 2014 to allow them to express their concerns about the assessment.
The committee also discussed the fire protection contracts Wauseon has with surrounding townships including Chesterfield, Dover, Pike, and York. Schamp said many of the present contracts are over 20 years old, and amounts being charged were set up that long ago or longer.
He said the committee members are reviewing updated financial information drawn up by Fire Chief Rick Sluder to determine whether it reflects an adequate cost the townships could share.
“Ultimately, what we’d like to do is come up with equitable dollar amounts that the city could charge the townships that we provide fire protection for,” Schamp said.
Speaking for the Park Board, Councilor Scott Stiriz said Public Works Superintendent Dave Murry quoted a price of $2,500 for materials to install new double doors on the Potawatomi Lodge shelter house in Reighard Park. Stiriz said city workers would save money by doing the labor. No action was taken.
He said the Wauseon Rotary Club has remodeled the park’s restrooms with new sinks, faucets, LED lighting, and paint.
Stiriz also reported that Murry has budgeted to construct a pavilion in Dorothy B. Biddle Park, and budgeted to pave 25,000 square feet of the park for a parking lot. Public Works also plans to reseal the city bicycle trail and the trail at Homecoming Park.
The Street Committee considered the installation of Americans With Disabilities Act work on the southwest corner of Elm and Fulton streets, but was informed not enough room was available for handicapped parking, Councilor Shane Chamberlain told council members. He said the committee couldn’t locate city-owned property elsewhere with enough space for similar work.
Schamp announced that an EMS Executive Board was formed this year, and officers were elected in January. He said the panel is currently working on bylaws.
In department reports:
• Chief Sluder said the fire department will begin safety officer class this weekend, and that all fire officers in the county have been invited to attend. He also reported that required fire department physicals have been completed.
• Chief Torbet said an approximately $10,000 federal Justice Assistance Grant, Law Enforcement grant received by the department will be used to replace six vehicle laptop computers. The grant requires a 10 percent local match.
He said a $1,635 state Drug Use Prevention Grant will allow Matt McDonough, the school district’s Student Resource Officer, to conduct talks within the school district.
Motions by the council to approve both grants passed 6-0.
• Public Service Director Dennis Richardson said the contract to paint the east clarifier at the city’s water treatment plant was awarded to A-1 Industrial Painting of Campbell, Ohio.
He said all mainline work under Linfoot Street has been installed, and work is currently being done to install lateral lines from the sanitary sewer. Richardson also reported that the city has experienced about a dozen water main breaks this winter.
He said the city is working with an engineering firm to develop the northeast quadrant of the intersection at Shoop Avenue and Airport Highway. He said the city has filed to annex that area.
Richardson also reported he is working with the Fulton County Economic Development Corporation to evaluate Wauseon Industrial Park as part of a grant from the Ohio Department of Development. He said the DOD is hiring consultants to travel the state to determine how to make some areas marketable.
And he said Murry met with engineers of the new pool project to determine where the city’s infrastructure lies in connection, and how the available pool house might be renovated.
• Finance Director Jamie Giguere told the council she has received bond bids for the pool project. She also reported that city income tax figures are higher than at this time last year.
The council suspended the rule of three readings and passed on emergency:
• A resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into an amendment to the Maumee Valley East CHIP Consortium Partnership Agreement.
• An ordinance amending Section 147.08 of the city’s codified ordinances, allowing the mayor to participate in the city’s health insurance plans, provided the mayor pays the premiums.
David J. Coehrs can be reached at 419-335-2010.