Monday night’s Wauseon City Council meeting was a reminder of how community involved the city councilors really are. Tree planting may not seem like it would be the job of a city councilor; however, as Council President Scott Stiriz gave a report from the Tree Commission committee meeting, it was apparent that it is an important job.
Stiriz explained that this year to celebrate Arbor Day, April 29, the committee will plant two trees. One tree will be planted at the primary school and the other will be planted at the middle school. A specific time has not been set yet for the planting.
The committee decided that they will plant a red oak tree and an Autumn Blaze maple tree. These trees will be donated by Woody Warehouse.
The City of Wauseon has earned 2021 Tree City USA recognition. Tree City USA is a program that must be applied to through the Arbor Day organization that recognizes cities for maintaining a thriving urban forest.
The City of Wauseon was accepted into the Tree City USA program because they maintain a tree department along with a community tree ordinance, spend $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrate Arbor Day. The city has benefited because of their association with the Arbor Day organization for the past 29 years.
There are many community advantages to this program:
• Trees help absorb traffic noise in urban areas by 40%
• Trees provide shade for buildings and protection from winter winds which in turn reduce energy costs up to 25%
• Neighborhoods that have trees are seven to nine degrees cooler than those without
• Property values increase when homes have trees
• Improved mental and physical health with the use of green space
• Trees absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which helps minimize the effects of climate change
In 2023, the Tree Convention will be held in Wauseon. “It’s just neat to watch them grow,” said Stiriz.
The council meeting also ushered in a new ordinance that set a maximum principal amount of $575,000 of bonds that will be issued and sold to pay for the infrastructure improvements on the soon to be developed Seneca Drive property. The ordinance was read, motioned to approve, and passed.
There was a second reading of the city ordinance that:
• Allows the creation of the Seneca Drive Incentive District within the City of Wauseon
• Describes the public infrastructure improvements needed at this property
• Declares the property to be exempt from real property taxation
• Requires annual service payments in lieu of taxes
• Provides for minimum service payments
• Establishes a municipal public improvement tax increment equivalent fund
This ordinance was also motioned to approve and passed.
A second reading was also heard on the resolution that authorizes Mayor Kathy Huner to enter into an agreement with the Attorney General of the State of Ohio for collection of delinquent city income taxes.
A motion was also passed to allow Huner to enter into an agreement with Dillin Control Systems for Engineering services.
After the council meeting was adjourned a special closed council meeting began to hire a new City Clerk of Council. Brooke Baumgartner currently holds this position but is vacating to take the open administrative assistant position.
The new Clerk of Council, Korin Baumgartner, started her position this week.