The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Mar. 30, 2023

VW Council hears about PACE program

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Van Wert City Council heard a presentation from Van Wert Area Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Stacy Adam on the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing for businesses.

Van Wert Area Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Stacy Adam distributes information to Van Wert City Council on the PACE program. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

“PACE is really a tool to get financing for energy improvement projects,” Adam said, noting that a project to be located adjacent to the Van Wert North clinic now under construction is wanting to use PACE financing.

Adam said the program is similar to assessing a property owner for installing sidewalks, noting that the city would collect the additional assessment and then distribute it to the financial institution that is providing money for the work.

Adam did note that establishing a PACE program would require legislation from City Council, adding that the lender for the upcoming Towne Center project has agreed to provide sample legislation for Council members to review.

She also said that, if the taxes or assessment is not paid, the city has no other obligation to the lender. Basically, Adam explained, the PACE program allows a company to pay for clean energy projects in installments, rather than the total amount up front.

During his report, Mayor Jerry Mazur also noted that the VWAEDC has a position on its nine-member board opening up in July, and noted that those seeking the position must be a VWAEDC member and also obtain 10 signatures from other members on a petition. More information can be obtained by calling the VWAEDC office at 419.238.2999.

The mayor also noted that 10 students will be part of a Sister City delegation coming to Van Wert this summer from Sumoto, Japan. The students will be in the United States from July 24-29.

Safety-Service Director Jay Fleming noted that Council needs to pass its annual resolution allowing him to enter into a contract with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to purchase 300 tons of rock salt at a discounted price. That legislation was prepared later in the meeting and passed as part of Council’s consent agenda on first and final reading, along with a supplemental appropriation totaling $31,690.49 for engineering services.

During his report, Fleming also noted that the city is wrapping up a storm sewer project on Boyd Avenue and will be starting a project on Rosalie Drive to deal with flooding in that area in the near future.

City Auditor Martha Balyeat was not at the meeting, but Council later passed legislation enabling supplemental appropriations to the city budget.

Law Director John Hatcher said he is currently reviewing some code enforcement legislation sections for possible changes.

Health, Safety & Service Committee Chair Bill Marshall requested that Hatcher prepare legislation that would amend the city building permit ordinance to eliminate ambiguities.

Marshall also noted that there have been 20 violations already for weed mowing, adding that property owners and renters have the responsibility to keep lawns mowed.

Council President Jon Tomlinson said he feels the problem comes from a lack of responsibility on the part of property owners.

“If you have a property, take care of it,” Tomlinson said, noting that a property owner could hire someone to mow a lawn all summer for considerably less than the $500 fine levied for weed code violations. “It’s quite ridiculous that we have to continue to have this conversation, and it’s also equally ridiculous that we have to have this conversation about the same properties over and over.”

Tomlinson said it seems like some property owners are always talking about their rights, but don’t realize they also have responsibilities that go along with those rights.

An ordinance amending Code of Ordinances Section 152.75 was also unanimously passed on third and final reading.

Local resident Charles White, 1223 E. Ervin Road, also had a question on whether he could bring two beehives into the city limits. Hatcher said he would research the issue and someone would get back to White.

The next meeting of Van Wert City Council will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 11, in Council Chambers in the Municipal Building, 515 E. Main St.

POSTED: 05/31/18 at 8:09 am. FILED UNDER: News