Monday night’s Wauseon City Council meeting was business as usual with the exception of the presence of a new member joining the team.
Korin Baumgartner was sworn in by Mayor Kathy Huner as the new Clerk of Council. Baumgartner will be replacing Brooke Baumgartner. Brooke will assume the position of Administrative Assistant.
A report was given by Phil Kessler, Assistant Fire Chief, about a recent barn fire that the Wauseon Fire Department responded to. The fire department was the first to arrive at the scene even though it was not in their jurisdiction.
“We got there and started in. We were there for about 10 to 15 minutes then a lot of neighbors came in to help save the pigs, the livestock and one of the barns,” said Kessler.
When Kessler was asked how many departments had responded to this fire, he responded seven to eight. He also reported that they were able to keep the fire contained to the building of origin.
“There were two structures connected by a breezeway. We took control of the breezeway and kept the fire from traveling across to the other structure,” said Kessler.
“Kudos to the fire department. As I have said before, when you live in a small town versus a bigger city you just get that kind of neighbors and compassion,” said Mayor Huner.
Huner also explained to the Council that 780 baby pigs were in the barn fire and that 600 of those pigs were able to be saved. The mayor read these facts from a report that she was given.
The barn fire was seen and captured on social media by a lot of people, according to Kessler.
The Seneca Drive Tax Incentive ordinance had its third and final reading. It was motioned and passed. Ben Gleckler, Seneca Drive property owner and developer, and Matt Gilroy, Executive Director of Fulton County Economic Development Corporation were present at the meeting to hear the motion pass.
Councilor Brandon Tijerina asked Gleckler when the infrastructure would be completed so building could start. “Building will start this fall,” said Gleckler.
The TIF ordinance was amended one last time to update the debt service schedule (when payments would be due) but the interest rates will stay the same at 2.1%.
The resolution to authorize the mayor to enter into an agreement with the Ohio State Attorney General for collection of delinquent taxes was read, motioned, and passed for it to be declared as an emergency.
The emergency status was needed to give the Attorney General and the City authorization to act quickly to collect taxes since it is now tax season. The Attorney General has the ability to reach the taxpayers federal tax returns if need be.
“As of Feb. 28, we are 6.7% ahead of 2021’s tax collection,” said Director of Finance, Jamie Giguere. “Folks can file their taxes online and also make their payments online, as well,” Giguere said.
Police Chief Kevin Chittenden reported that there were a few minor incidents over the weekend with one crash and a few more traffic stops than usual.
There was a first reading on the resolution addressing the reconstruction of South Brunell Street. This resolution was then motioned to make it an emergency due to the acceptance of a successful bid that was made.
“The cost of the reconstruction will be $1.2 million which is a little over the estimated engineers budget but is within the 10% leeway that is customary especially with the building prices today. I am happy with the 10%,” said Director of Public Service, Keith Torbet.
Torbet also invited Councilors to attend the Fulton County Economic Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony on April 21.
“So glad to see the Durapatch machine out filling some of those potholes that winter brought this year,” Mayor Huner commented. The Public Works Department of Wauseon created a list of every street and assessed the condition of these streets. The data was entered into an Excel spreadsheet to collate and assign a rating corresponding with the condition. A rating of one was given to the streets in the worst condition. There were four streets with this rating.
Mayor Huner also gave a quick summary of her annual report to finish out this meeting. One statistic she gave from her report was that domestic violence calls were down by 32%.