The motion to accept the resignation of former Council Fred Allen was unanimously approved by Wauseon City Council during their regular session on July 7. No comments were made by council or other village officials in attendance but the resignation follows Allen’s two-county felony indictment. Allen was indicted by a Fulton County grand jury on one count of theft in office, a fifth degree felony, and one count of tampering with records, a third degree felony.
Allen was arrested on the subsequent warrant held by the Fulton County Sherriff’s Office on June 25. He was released on his own recognizance and arraigned in the Fulton County Common Please Court. No hearing date has yet been set.
Allen’s council term was set to expire in 2015 and the remainder of that term is now open. The city will be accepting applications for that vacancy until July 18. An interview process will follow beginning the week of July 21 and the city is hopeful to have a new councilor in place by the beginning of August.
Following the approval of Allen’s resignation, council went on to hear from Councilor Shane Chamberlin, who spoke on behalf of the Park Board. The Board’s recommendation to purchase 8 recycling containers to be placed at Biddle Park, with a cost totaling $1239.02, was unanimously approved. There will be one container for aluminum cans and one container for plastic bottles placed at four different locations throughout the park.
Council President Heather Kost spoke on behalf of the Personnel Committee, which recommended that the definition of a part-time city employee be changed to someone working 32 hours or less to someone working 30 hours or less. The revision will put the city’s employment policies in alignment with the verbiage of Obama’s Health Care Act. That recommendation was also unanimously approved.
Moving on to hear department head reports, Regional Planning Director David Wright noted that he doesn’t expect to hear to hear any decisions about the applications for the CDBG (Community Block Development Grant) funds until September. Wright also noted that there is currently $395,000 in the county’s revolving loan fund and asked council to seek out projects eligible for assistance. When asked whether or not the current Sara’s Garden project qualifies for the use of these funds, Wright stated that it does but only if it intends to meet certain criteria such as being open to the public.
Fire Chief Rick Sluder had little to report but accepted the gratitude given by Mayor Doug Shaw for the fireworks show and thanked the Police Department for their assistance during the show. When asked if donations can still be made for the fireworks, Sluder responded, “I sure hope those donations come up to about $7000”.
Police Chief Keith Torbed noted that 16 people recently took and passed an entrance exam for police officers and that the next round of testing will begin soon. Torbet also reported that the Fourth of July events at Biddle Park went smoothly, that there was only one accident that evening, and that parking was cleared out by 11:30 PM.
Torbet also informed council that the department is seeking approval from the FCC to shift to another approved radio frequency which would allow the purchase of a narrow banding license with a federal grant. The approval has been a long effort for the Wauseon Police Department due to the Canadian government’s request to the FCC to deny the department based on the narrow banded frequencies interference with a Canadian frequency.
The only legislative matter brought before council was a resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into an amended agreement for a countywide Emergency Management Agency. The resolution passed with a 5-0 vote.
Also approved was a motion to schedule a public hearing regarding the final approval of the zoning change for a PUD (planned unit development) extension of Oldfield Village on July 21 at 7:00 PM in council chambers.