The June 16 meeting of the Wauseon City Council was called to order at 5:00 PM by Mayor Doug Shaw. All members of council were present for roll and, after approval of the prior meeting’s minutes; council went on to hear from individuals wishing to address council.
Susan Short inquired as to whether or not the public hearing concerning zoning changes could be scheduled at 7:00 PM in order to allow those who work out of town to attend. The meeting, scheduled for July 7 is in regards to the vacant land on the west end of West Drive. There is a zoning request to change the 5.65 acre parcel from an R-2 (Single Family Residential) to PUD (Planned Unit Development) with the proposed uses of houses, duplexes, and triplexes.
Short also noted that it was difficult to hear and the last public meeting and requested an adequate sound system be set up as well as a venue change so that those in attendance would not need to stand through the entire meeting. Also noted was that attendees would like to know ahead of time about any time limits regarding speaking. Short explained that she is looking for information about how the process works, voting, and the definition of the super majority but does not know where to locate such information.
Law Director Thomas McWatters explained that council’s means of deciding zoning issues are explained within the Wauseon City Charter, not the Ohio Revised Code. Mark Hagans, Solicitor for the Village of Archbold and the legal consultant for the matter at hand, explained that he would address Short’s questions when the scheduling of the public hearing was presented under New Business later in the meeting.
Once the meeting reached the point of New Business, Hagans explained that council can schedule the meeting at any time or venue they deem appropriate as well as that the vote will take place at a later scheduled meeting.
Wauseon City Council President Heather Kost inquired about the matter regarding the revision to the preliminary PUD application and Hagans responded that council is only considering the zoning change request; the preliminary PUD application approval falls under the Planning Commission. Hagans also explained that the super majority that Short had inquired about referred to a need for 75% of the participating council members to approve the new designation. He also explained that council can approve the new zoning designation, reject it, or approve it with modifications.
After some discussion about an appropriate venue for the meeting, it was decided that more chairs can be added to the Council Chambers to accommodate everyone. It was also noted that the sound system will be checked prior to the meeting. The meeting is now scheduled for Monday, July 7 at 7:00 PM in Council Chambers.
After hearing from Short, Council moved on to hear Committee Reports. Kost reported on behalf of the Personnel Committee that Fire Chief Rick Sluder had presented the proposal regarding the conversion of Life Star employees to City of Wauseon employees as had been requested at the prior meeting. Kost noted that the proposal is in regard to retaining trained employees and explained that the Personnel Committee was recommending that the process of converting Life Star employees to City employees be started, increasing the number emergency employees, and authorizing Sluder to seek addition funding for the proposed 2015 City of Wauseon contract. The recommendations were approved.
Councilor Fred Allen reported on behalf of the Building and Grounds Committee that the committee had met with Martin and Mario Estrada, the owners of Downtown Billiards, regarding the request for permission to place a picnic table and smoke tree in the grassy area behind their building. This area is on city property. The Estradas noted that they will maintain the area. With the agreement to upkeep, the committee had no issues with the Estradas’ request. The recommendation to allow the Estradas to place the picnic table and smoke tree in that area was approved by council. With the agreement to upkeep, there will be no charge to Downtown Billiards for the use of city property.
Councilor Shane Chamberlin reported on behalf of the Park Board that it had been brought to their attention that there were no recycling containers at Biddle Park. The Park Board decided that containers should be affixed to the ground and also have a lid as to prevent any rainwater issues. The recommendation to place 5-8 red and green recycling containers at Biddle Park was approved. Chamberlin also noted that the construction of the pavilion at Biddle Park will begin soon. The pavilion will be placed in the general area, near the playground equipment.
In Department Head Reports, Regional Planning Director David Wright noted that he has been moving forward with the downtown revitalization grant, which had an application deadline of June 20, 2014. The Fulton County Commissioners will soon be making a decision on funding that will be committed for the Community Development Block Grant allocation program.
Fire Chief Rick Sluder noted that the Fire Department is getting ready for the fireworks for this year’s 4th of July celebration. Councilor Kathy Huner also inquired of Sluder what the status was on the completion of the 911 Memorial. Sluder responded that they are in process and should be completed by the time of the Fulton County Fair.
Police Chief Keith Torbet reported that ten youth completed the Youth Police Academy that was held the week of June 9. He also distributed a traffic flow layout for Biddle Park for the 4th of July. Snow fence barriers are being considered on the south side of the park to prevent any issues similar to last year, in which there were instances of people driving in yards and around the main fields. Access to the park will be closed at 10:00 PM to incoming traffic for safety reasons.
Zoning Administrator Tom Hall reported that he is the process of reviewing commercial site plans for a medical facility and a self storage unit facility.
Director of Public Service Dennis Richardson reported that the water tower painting project is moving forward. The tower will be down for no longer than two months and the project should be completed by fair time. Richardson also reported that the Civil Service Commission certified the eligibility list for the laborer position and that the second round of interviews for the position has been completed. A walk through and update on the Linfoot Street project with O.R. Colan and Continental Valuations, all related to the temporary and permanent easements involved in the project, has also been completed.
Richardson also wanted to remind everyone that there will be a Little League classic baseball tournament for ages 8 to 14 held over the 4th of July weekend. Over 20 teams, including one from Ontario, have signed up to play.
Director of Finance Jamie Giguere noted that she has checked on the new electronic water bills. So far, 48 residents have signed up for the electronic billing service. She would like to remind all water customers that the service is available and can be signed up for through the city’s website.
In legislative matters, Ordinance 2014-15 passed on second reading and under emergency language. The ordinance allows for the city to vacate the alley that runs from Franklin Street to the west line of Lot No. 5 between Lot Nos. 1,2,3,4,5, and 10 of Greenough’s first addition and Outlot 1 in E.F. Greenough’s addition. Emergency language was necessary in order to expedite the process for sale of the property.
There were no legislative matters brought forward for first or third reading and no further business other than the aforementioned public meeting was brought before council. As such, the meeting was adjourned at 5:55 PM. The next meeting of the Wauseon City Council will be held at 5:00 PM on Monday, July 7 in Council Chambers.
© 2014 – 2016, The Village Reporter and/or Associated Press (AP). All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.