Members of the Wauseon City Council convened in regular session on the evening of February 1.
Dennis Miller of the Maumee Valley Planning Organization stated that the State of Ohio has a program called the Community Housing Impact and Preservation program (CHIP). His office provides direct assistance to homeowners or landlords who own rental properties to upgrade their properties, to deal with issues of a bad roof, furnace, electrical problems. The City provides the assistance to upgrade the unit, then files a declining mortgage on that property that disappears over a five year period.
This prevents people from profiting from the investment of the City. This year the State revised their standards in terms of the size of communities and Wauseon is now eligible. To improve the chances for a grant, two years ago, Henry and Fulton counties and the City of Napoleon joined a partnership and this enabled the City to increase its chances for funding. If Wauseon would join the partnership, it would increase the allocation from $300,000 to $350,000. Maumee Valley Planning would like the City to consider joining the partnership with Henry and Fulton counties and the City of Napoleon.
Mayor Huner asked about the length of the agreement. Mr. Miller stated the grants are for a two year cycle. At a later date the City can always withdraw. Mr. Tom Hall asked about the administrative fees. Mr. Miller stated that his staff does the administrative work and the City processes the financial aspects of that through Henry County. There would be no administrative burden on the City.
Councilor Kost asked how is the program promoted. Mr. Miller stated through the newspapers, and networking with other agencies. Mr. Hall stated there are applications in his office. Mr. Wright added that it is advertised on the City and county websites.
Fire Chief Rick Sluder introduced the new Fire Station Mascot, Blaze. He is a golden doodle, and right now is about 13 weeks old. He will be used for our educational programs at the schools, and different functions. He will grow to about 35-40 pounds in size. He was donated from Reigsecker Kennels in Pettisville. Mayor Huner expressed appreciation and a thank you to the Reisgsecker Kennels for this donation.
Police Chief Keith Torbet presented the Wauseon Police Department 2015 Officer of the Year award to Tony Imber. Chief Torbet stated that Tony was selected by the Awards Committee. Officer Imber is a tremendous asset to the department in the short tenure with the agency. He is committed to helping the citizens of Wauseon, his fellow officers and making our community a safer place to live. Mayor Huner and Council conveyed their congratulations to Officer Imber.
Sharon Riegsecker, an applicant for the Application for the Placement of Farmland in an Agricultural District that was scheduled for this meeting, stated that she did not understand what the application was for until Mr. McWatters explained it to her; therefore; she is withdrawing her application. Mrs. Riegsecker asked what the City has done to promote the property on Glenwood Avenue for sale. Mr. Dennis Richardson replied that the County Economic Director is aware of that property. It is zoned B4 which is wide open for zoning. The City would like to see development there too, and has a significant investment out there. Mr. McWatters added that when inquiries are made to the City, the City will do what they can to help further that process. Mr. Hall said when the street was first done, there were ads placed in newspapers in larger areas. Mr. McWatters stated the Auditors Office will require the City to fill out a form indicating that the application has been withdrawn. He asked Mrs. Riegsecker also to notify the Auditor’s office of their withdrawal.
Due to Sharon Riegsecker’s formal verbal withdrawal of her application, the Public Hearing that was advertised and scheduled for this meeting (Application for Placement of Farmland in an Agricultural District, – Applicant: Martha Wagner Trustee, two parcels off of N. Glenwood Ave. – 24.545 acres and 26.966 acres) was cancelled.
Regional Planning Director, David Wright, reported that the Downtown Revitalization Committee met on January 26, 2016. The committees discussed the overview of the Downtown Revitalization Grant and ideas on how the City can promote the program. He received a new application for the grant and will be working with another business owner downtown about a property acquisition. He gave an update on the ADA ramp project for the downtown.
Chief Sluder stated that the County Firemen’s Supper is on February 16, 2016 and council has been invited. At that meeting, the City will be presenting the State of Ohio Smokedog Award. This is being awarded to the O’Neil family because they were to able escape from a fire at their home because they had properly installed smoke detectors.
Chief Torbet stated he wanted to give an update on GovDeals. Last year the City sold 37 items for a total of $17,514.95. Since the program’s inception in 2007, the City has sold 311 items for a total of over $154,000. Chief Torbet also wanted to convey an interesting fun fact that a picture of the Wauseon Depot is the February picture in the Norfolk and Southern Railroad 2016 Calendar.
Code Administrator, Tom Hall, reported that the Pride Wauseon and Design Review Board will be meeting to review the application for a sign and fence for a new barbeque restaurant downtown, Shannon’s Barbeque. Mr. Hall also reported that he was informed by NORTA (Northwest Ohio Rails to Trails) that the Toledo Metroparks is applying for a grant to pave the bike trail from the Fulton-Lucas Line to County Rd. 11. This may give the City an opportunity to look at additional paving of the bikepath.
Director of Public Service, Dennis Richardson, stated that the City opened the bids on repainting the clarifier at the Water Treatment Plant, with plans to award soon.
Mr. Richardson gave an update on the Linfoot St. project. He attended the Fulton County Economic Development Community Outreach Meeting for the Wauseon area.
It was a very good meeting and gave the City some good information on demographics, exercise on identifying the communities’ strengths and weaknesses and opportunities.
Director of Finance, Jamie Giguere, reported that she was in contact with the municipal advisor for the pool bonds and that letters have been sent to various banks with a deadline the end of this week. The final interest rate will be known at that time.
Director of Law, Tom McWatters, reported that he is working on a matter for the Wauseon Union Cemetery. Councilor Scott Stiriz has been assisting him in his capacity as superintendent. He also has been working on the matter regarding the outstanding debt of Sterlina from the Revolving Loan Fund. He indicated that the City will have an offer of settlement from one of the three guarantors. He will be working with Mr. Wright on scheduling a Revolving Loan Fund meeting.
Council heard the first reading of Ordinance 2016-4 – amending Section 147.08 of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Wauseon, which will permit the Mayor to participate in the city’s health insurance, provided the Mayor pays the premium.
There being no further business to come before this session of the Wauseon City Council, Mayor Huner asked for a motion to adjourn.