By: Chelsie Firestone
Members of the Wauseon City Council unanimously agreed to accept the recommendation of the Park Board to codify the park rules. The codification of the rules, which include usage or the parks, hours that the parks are open, and a “no animals” rule, will allow for enforcement of the rules by the Wauseon Police Department. In a related matter council also approved the Park Board’s recommendation to add Biddle Park to be closed daily at midnight. Reighard and South Parks will retain their 10:00 PM closing time.
While the rules and closing hours have been widely accepted, the “no animals” rule has brought some discussion amongst both the board and council. While an amendment was considered to allow for a dog friendly park, the Park Board has decided that it is not inclined to change the policy at this time but may address the issue again at a future date.
Council also heard from Council President Karen Krumm, whom reported on behalf of the Utility Committee. At this time it is the belief of the committee that the city is the current high bidder on the specific equipment being sold by the Village of Paulding but the status of the bid has not yet been confirmed. Recommendations made by the committee were to approve the county water main loop extension project by the fairgrounds and to sell water to the proposed County Water Plan at $2.46 per 1000 gallon unit, equaling approximately $1,476 per day. Both recommendations were approved.
Councilor Stiriz reported on behalf on the Safety and Code Committee that Chief Torbet has presented the legislation for the city’s two internet cafés. The licensing is listed at $5000 and $30 per month per device. Any new internet café entering into the city will have to be at least 1,000 feet from any school and 500 feet from any church. The recommendation made by the committee to accept the legislation was approved.
Councilor Stiriz also reported that there have been a couple of complaints about tires on the corner of Shoop Avenue and Linfoot Street as well as about livestock animals on Linfoot Street. The matter of the tires is being addressed by Councilor Mathews. Because there are no rules regarding having pigs in town for 4H projects and because the situation is temporary, no action was taken on the livestock complaint.
Reporting on behalf of the Tree Commission, Councilor Mathews also reported that there are a couple of tree issues with residents in town and that these matters are being addressed. Mathews also noted that he would like to look at whether or not larger trees could be replanted in the boulevard and what the price would be for larger diameter trees to be placed at Biddle Park in the next budget year.
Police Chief Keith Torbet reported to council that two orange signs were donated by the Ohio Department of Public Safety. The signs, one Lookout for Motorcycles and one Seatbelt Enforcement Zone, are quick set up signs and easily moved. Chief Torbet also reported that the Safe and Sober campaign will be running through September 2, 2013 as well as reminded everyone that to be aware of school zones as the school year is once again beginning and that the Citizen’s Police Academy will be starting this fall.
Code Administrator Tom Hall reported that he has met with a representative from the Ohio Attorney General’s office for a review of the Moving Ohio Forward grant and that he is hopeful that the city will have a solid chance next year. Director of Law Thomas McWatters III reported that he is still awaiting one more easement on the Airport Highway sanitary sewer department and thanked both the Police and Fire Departments for their efforts during the Tomahawk Trot.
Legislative matters brought before council included no first or second readings. However, third and final readings were held on three different ordinances. Ordinance 2013-3, which creates a definition of a compact vehicle within the codified ordinances and which will allow for later parking restrictions to be placed at various spots within the city was passed and will be put into effect on September 18. Ordinance 2013-4, the amendment of the Pride Wauseon Architectural Standards Code as also passed and will be put into effect on September 18 as will Ordinance 2013-4, which replaces the former agreement between the City of Wauseon and Ohio Gas Company.
New business brought before council included a motion by Councilor Allen to appointment Mike Murry to the Charter Revision Commission for the term July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2016. The motion was seconded by Councilor Stiriz and approved unanimously by council.
Chelsie Firestone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org