The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Jul. 23, 2024

VW City Council OKs year-end legislation

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Van Wert City Council closed out the old year with the passage of year-end financial housekeeping legislation and the appointment of local residents to the Van Wert Tax Review Board, as well as good-byes from a number of longtime city officials who are leaving office at the end of the year.

Van Wert City Councilman At-Large Stan Agler was one of those to say good-bye prior to leaving office after many years of public service. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)
Van Wert City Councilman At-Large Stan Agler was one of those to say good-bye prior to leaving office after many years of public service. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

City Council adopted ordinances approving a number of year-end fund transfers and supplemental appropriations recommended by City Auditor Martha Balyeat to close out the city’s books for the year.

In addition, Council members adopted salary ordinances for the coming year, including a retire-rehire agreement for Safety-Service Director Jay Fleming.

Council also appointed Laura Metzger, former Crestview school treasurer, and retired banker Gloria Kimmey to the city tax review board and took action to accept annexation of a parcel of land on West Ervin Road on which a strip mall that includes Van Wert Bedrooms and several other businesses is located.

City Council had sent the annexation request to the Van Wert County Board of Commissioners in August, but had to wait until the commissioners approved the request before it could take final action accepting the annexation.

Mayor Don Farmer also gave a farewell speech, noting that being mayor was “the best job I have ever had.”

The mayor also provided a list of city income tax totals for the past eight years, showing how tax receipts dwindled during the “great recession” that began in 2008 and slowly came back to eventually exceed the $6,425,693 in tax receipts received in 2007.

The mayor noted that this year’s income tax receipts of $6.7 million represents a $1,291,000 increase over the $5.4 million received during the depths of the recession in 2009, which Mayor Farmer said represented the restoration of 2,145 jobs for city residents.

“We have seen the bad times, we have come through the bad times,” the mayor said, while thanking city employees for their efforts and local businesses that continued to invest in the city.

Also saying their good-byes was Councilman At-Large Stan Agler, also a former mayor — the first one to serve full-time — and Council President Ken Mengerink.

Both men, who have each served several decades in local governmental positions, said they had enjoyed their time in public service and offered to continue to be resources for mayor-elect Jerry Mazur and the incoming City Council members.

Balyeat, in her last financial report of 2015, said the city will have a higher carryover balance than expected because of higher than projected tax receipts and lower spending by city department heads and elected officials.

City Law Director John Hatcher also noted that Van Wert Municipal Court experienced an “all-time high” in caseload, with approximately 9,200 cases filed over the last 12 months. Of those cases, approximately 10 percent were personally handled by the law director’s office, which he said was also a record, with most of those either traffic-related or delinquent taxpayers.

City Council’s next meeting will be Monday, January 11, 2016, when a new mayor, a new council president, and three new council members will officially take office.

POSTED: 12/29/15 at 8:52 am. FILED UNDER: News