The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Jun. 1, 2020

City purchases N. Wayne St. property

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Van Wert Mayor Don Farmer (seated right) signs the deed to 209 N. Wayne St. that was given to him by realtor Sharon Henkaline (seated left). Looking on are (standing, from the left) First Ward Councilman John Marshall, Fourth Ward Councilman Pete Weir, Council President Gary Corcoran, Councilmen At-Large Jeff Agler and Stan Agler and Third Ward Councilman Stuart Jewett. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

With the recent focus of Mayor Don Farmer’s administration and Van Wert City Council on cleanup efforts in the city, it was appropriate that the purchase by the city of one of Van Wert’s most dilapidated homes would bring a number of city officials to the deed-signing ceremony.

Mayor Farmer and several City Council members were on hand as local realtor Sharon Henkaline turned over the deed to a property at 209 N. Wayne St., a property that has been an eyesore for years. Moreover, the fact that the abandoned home is located at the T-intersection of Wayne and Lincoln Highway means that anyone coming into the city from Lincoln Highway would see the house.

The mayor said the city paid $5,500 for the house, of which $2,400 will be refunded to the city from code-enforcement related tax liens. A grant would pay for demolition of the home, while the city could also be reimbursed for the entire $5,500 purchase price if it makes use of the property.

The house purchase highlights recent legislative activities related to city cleanup efforts. City Council recently adopted a number of pieces of legislation related to trash pickup, while Law Director John Hatcher is also researching more ways to ensure that real estate owners maintain their property.

Downtown parking, also a recurring city issue, was again on the agenda of Monday night’s City Council meeting.

The Streets and Alleys Committee held a discussion of the issue, prompted by a complaint by Michael Baldea, owner of Flagship Tax Service on West Main Street.

Baldea complained that many of the downtown parking spaces are used by employees of local businesses and government employees who work in the downtown area, leaving few spaces left for downtown business customers.

Baldea told Council members on Monday that, if something isn’t done to correct the problem, he would have to move his business from the downtown area. “There’s no room for me to grow,” Baldea added.

Main Street Van Wert Interim Program Manager Adam Ries provided additional information on the issue, noting that he and Streets and Alleys Committee Chair Pete Weir conducted a non-scientific, one-day video study of the downtown area, noting that 42 of the approximately 300 parking spaces were filled by vehicles that were there from 8:15-11 a.m. that day.

Ries said the problem is a larger economic issue than it appears, explaining that, if customers parked for 30 minutes and spent just $5, the total annual value of a parking space would be $21,000. Accordingly, just the 42 spaces used by non-customers on the one day surveyed would translate to $882,000 over a year’s time.

Hatcher said he is working out details of a parking enforcement strategy with Van Wert Municipal Court Judge Jill Leatherman. Weir also recommended printing maps of city parking areas surrounding the downtown area and distributing the maps to downtown businesses and offices, so that employees would at least be aware of alternatives to parking close to their workplaces.

Legislative action taken during Monday’s City Council meeting included approval of a transfer of the Community Reinvestment Area agreement from Golden Heritage Foods to Wannemacher Total Logistics, which recently purchased the Golden Heritage facility on Bonnewitz Avenue.

Council also received good news from Safety-Service Director Jay Fleming, who noted that bids are in on the Wall Street bridge replacement project, and the low bidder, Jutte Construction, submitted a bid that was 16 percent lower than the engineer’s estimate on the project, which is being administered by the Ohio Department of Transportation. The city is also bidding out work on the street itself, and will open those bids on Tuesday, March 6.

POSTED: 02/29/12 at 7:35 am. FILED UNDER: News