The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020

VW City Council OKs financial legislation

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Van Wert City Council adopted some mostly housekeeping financial measures and also approved an annexation request agreement for property along John Brown Road during its meeting on Monday.

Van Wert Safety-Service Director Jay Fleming makes his report during Monday’s Van Wert City Council meeting. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

City Council adopted an emergency ordinance that would make a number of supplemental appropriations, as well as an emergency resolution setting 2021 employee contributions to the city’s healthcare plan, which Auditor Martha Balyeat said didn’t change from this year.

Council also prepared legislation providing for a fund transfer for a 27th pay period, a transfer to meet the city’s retirement liability, and a transfer to the sewer maintenance fund.

Balyeat also told Council that she should all the figures in for next year’s budget discussion by the end of the week, with First Ward Councilman Jeff Agler saying he would like to see the addition of a code enforcement officer position.

The auditor noted that, because the city is using a portion of the .22-Safety Capital Tax for police and fire salaries and fringe benefits, the city may not create any new positions while using money from that tax.

“Our hands are tied,” Balyeat said.

Agler did question why a police officer position that is currently open could not be designated as a code enforcement position, and he agreed to meet with Safety-Service Director Jay Fleming and Police Chief Joel Hammond to discuss the matter.

“It’s a problem for you, it’s a problem for everyone,” Fleming said of the .22 tax hiring moratorium.

During his written report, Mayor Ken Markward, who was absent from the meeting, noted that any Charter Commission meetings, if that issue is approved by voters next Tuesday, will be open to the public.

He also noted that Van Wert Area Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Stacy Adam noted that a bid opening for demolition of the Home Guard Temple building is scheduled for this Thursday, October 29, with actual demolition not beginning until at least two weeks after that, depending on which firm wins the bid.

The mayor also noted that early voting continues this week through November 3, with city residents able to vote from 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday.

Trick or treat within the city will be from 4-6 p.m. this Saturday, October 31, while leaf pick-up begins November 16 and will run for four weeks.

Council learned that more than 4,000 people have already cast their ballots in the general election.

During his report, Law Director John Hatcher noted an increase in domestic violence cases in Van Wert Municipal Court that he said likely is tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the large number of cases — more than 75 adults — that stem from a private party that occurred near Delphos in Van Wert County.

City Council also heard from city resident Linda Agler Evans, who talked about what she feels was a Sunshine Law violation for a “special meeting” held in September. Hatcher will be coming up with a legal opinion on the alleged violation.

The next meeting of Van Wert City Council will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, November 9, in Council Chambers on the second floor of the Municipal Building, 515 E. Main St.

POSTED: 10/27/20 at 7:02 am. FILED UNDER: News