Wauseon Council discusses city fire contracts

By David J. Coehrs - dcoehrs@aimmediamidwest.com

Wauseon City Council on Monday approved the city’s EMS contracts and paid tribute to three prominent citizens who died over the past week.

Council members agreed with the Finance Committee’s recommendations to pass the EMS contracts, which will provide Wauseon with $1.025 million annually between them. The contracts include a primary coverage area and a central station operations contract.

Committee member Steve Schneider said a portion of funds raised through the contracts will be used to maintain the services of two Advanced Life Support (ALS) units. Per the contracts, the city will be responsible for the entirety of its billings and will keep all of its billing proceeds.

At a Finance Committee meeting held Aug. 25, Fire Chief Rick Sluder said the city needs to change 430 part-time EMS hours to full-time hours to fill staffing needs. That will require city Finance Director Jamie Giguere to add $9,500 to the General Wages Fund and $15,000 to the General Fire Benefits Fund.

At the same meeting Police Chief Kevin Chittenden proposed changing his department’s records and dispatch software from CMI to Stoma Global, a move that would link police, fire, and Fulton County Sheriff’s Office departments together. The switch would require an increase of $25,000 to the city’s General Police Supplies Fund.

Giguere noted that the Capital EMS Equipment Fund will need to be increased by $60,000 to cover the cost of an ambulance requested by the city that is $10,000 more than estimated. Additionally, the ambulance will require a power cot system that costs $50,000.

Council approved those expenses, to be paid through city budget amendments that will increase $49,500 from the general fund and $60,000 from the Capital Fund account.

Councilor Patrick Griggs asked Sluder if he is pleased with the fire contract results. “I know (they’re) not perfect, but at the end of the day (are) they pretty good?” he asked.

Sluder replied,” We’re happy we’ll be able to operate just fine.”

Council members also approved a resolution to amend an Annual Appropriation Ordinance by authorizing Giguere to increase or decrease line item account appropriations within various funds listed for 2021.

In other business, Council members approved ordinances authorizing the annexation of properties to the city. They include ownership of a portion of the Wabash Cannonball trail that passes through the property of Dave’s Sand and Stone at 19230 County Road F.

Law Director Tom McWatters III said an agreement regarding that part of the trail will have to made with the business, since it sits on their land. “To dot the I’s and cross the T’s, that issue should be resolved eventually,” he said.

McWatters said the company already has an agreement with the trail’s authorities regarding its upkeep where it passes through the property.

In department reports, Police Chief Kevin Chittenden said the department, in conjunction with the Delta Eagles, will hold the 2nd Annual Back the Blue BBQ Drive Thru on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Fulton County Fairgrounds. Chittenden said tickets are available at the police department at 230 Clinton St. or at the event.

In new business, Mayor Kathy Huner thanked “anyone that had anything to do with the Fulton County Fair to make it a good fair. We had an amazing fair. The weather was wonderful and the crowds were great.”

She also paid tribute to three prominent community members who died over the past week: Toby Shehorn, Karen Vollmer, and Curt Cooley. Huner said each in their own way reached out to the community. “They will be missed,” she said.


By David J. Coehrs


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

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