The City of Wauseon is taking precautions against an algal bloom discovered in the Maumee River near the Defiance water treatment plant, City Council was told at its Monday meeting.
Public Service Director Dennis Richardson said the city made immediate changes to its reservoirs and water valves so that only reservoir water is being treated.
“We certainly don’t want to pump bad water into the reservoirs,” he said.
Both Wauseon and the City of Napoleon, which provides water locally through its pump station, are taking precautionary steps until the harmful algal bloom is eradicated, Richardson said.
In other business, the council voted 6-0 to accept a recommendation by the Street Committee to close an avenue of traffic for two one-hour blocks each day at the intersection of Glenwood Avenue and Oak Street.
Committee member Shane Chamberlin said the request was made by Police Chief Keith Torbet at a May 16 meeting. Torbet asked that barricades be placed, by crossing guards in one avenue between the hours of 7-8 a.m. and 2:30-3:30 p.m., then removed. He said the barricades would slow traffic and reduce safety risks during hours when Wauseon elementary and middle school students arrive at, then leave school.
Using barricades similar to those used for traffic control at high school football games is a cheap alternative to the estimated $150,000 cost of installing traffic lights and crosswalks at that intersection, Chamberlin said.
Torbet told council members the barricades would provide temporary closure of a street, which the police department is authorized to order if necessary. He said traffic lights and crosswalks at the intersection were discussed when the school complex on Oak Street was being constructed, but were deemed cost prohibitive.
The project was floated as part of the original school building project but was rejected by the Ohio School Facilities Commission. The intersection’s odd configuration would have necessitated a series of four to five traffic signals in addition to crosswalks.
Wauseon Mayor Kathy Huner gave her support for the barricades, saying, “I like that idea a lot, because I think that is quite a congested corner.”
Downtown Revitalization Committee member Heather Kost reported that new bench and waste receptacles for the downtown area will be ordered this week. Regional Planning Director David Wright said the $40,000 cost will be paid through the city’s 2014 Community Development Block Grant and the Fulton County Revolving Loan Fund. Crosswalks and Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant additions will be funded by remaining city and county RLF money and other money appropriated for the project.
Kost said the current downtown benches and waste receptacles are likely to be relocated along the Homecoming Park trail or the city bicycle path. “We’re going to try to recycle and reuse as many of those as we can,” she said.
In department reports:
• Wright said more than enough applications have been submitted for shares of $270,000 in available downtown revitalization grant money. Although the money was offered to building and business owners on a first-come, first-served basis, some project applications are moving more quickly through the system and could be awarded money before applications submitted earlier.
• Fire Chief Rick Sluder said through most of June the department will devote its energy to public education efforts about Safety City and to preparing for the city’s Fourth of July fireworks show. He said the city will also operate a fireworks show July 16 for the Village of Archbold.
• Police Chief Keith Torbet said 11 people have enrolled in the department’s annual Youth Police Academy, to be held June 13-17 from 8:30 a.m. to noon each day. He said four openings remain for youth 13-18 years old inside or outside of Wauseon, but applications must be submitted by Friday.
• Code Administrator Tom Hall said most of the city’s major construction projects are nearing completion, including a new doctor’s office and retail complex on Shoop Avenue.
• Public Service Director Dennis Richardson reported that concrete work being completed as part of the Linfoot Street reconstruction project will cause restrictions for motorists.
“This is both exciting and nearing the most frustrating part of the project. We’ll make all the allowances we can for that, but this is (an) inconvenience, and that’s just the way it is,” he said.
Richardson also said the city is undergoing the final reviews of plans for a new community swimming pool, and continues to work on updating descriptions and compensation regulations for city positions.
• Finance Director Jamie Giguere said the city’s income tax revenue is up five percent from this time last year.
Chamberlin suggested the city compile a quote for 2017 budget consideration to install sidewalks from Leggett Street to Wauseon Primary School.
Hall told the council that completing a sidewalk project in its entirety would cost over $50,000 and require competitive bidding. He said finishing a sidewalk in sections would lower the cost and allow money to be allocated.
The city council also approved:
• The second readings of resolutions to authorize the mayor to contract for work at Dorothy B. Biddle Park with Bruce Ernst Asphalt and Ersham Excavating.
• The second reading of an ordinance to amend Codified Ordinance Chapter 1117 regarding the official zoning map.
• The third reading of a resolution authorizing the mayor to advertise for bids for the construction of a new pool, to accept the lowest bid, and to contract with the lowest bidder. The resolution takes effect in 30 days.
David J. Coehrs can be reached at 419-335-2010.