The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, May. 29, 2020

VW City Council hears positive information

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Van Wert City Council heard some positives from several city officials during its first July meeting on Monday evening.

Van Wert Safety-Service Director Jay Fleming talks about a delay in the Jefferson Street bridge project during Monday’s City Council meeting. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

Although she said she had some concerns earlier in the year, City Auditor Martha Balyeat said Monday she was “fairly confident” the city will at least meet its revenue projections for fiscal year 2019.

Balyeat noted that revenues for the General Fund were $57,000 ahead of last year, while the fund has taken in $3.4 million and spent $3.3 million for the year.

“No big ups and no big downs, we’re just hanging in there,” Balyeat said.

Council also approved a then-and-now certificate to pay two invoices: one for $3,992.94 to New Wave Technology for court security and a second invoice for $4,824 to Shambaugh & Sons for water treatment plant work.

Mayor Jerry Mazur read a resolution of gratitude adopted by Celina City Council thanking Van Wert city workers for their assistance in clean-up efforts in that city following the May 27 tornado that did extensive damage in that community.

The mayor said the above-and-beyond assistance provided to Celina is exactly what he expects from Van Wert’s excellent employees. 

“That’s the way people work here,” he noted.

During his report, City Law Director John Hatcher said he is seeing a “far more cooperative” attitude from those charged with city code violations the past couple of months. “That’s a positive note.”

“I think the word is out: they work with us, we work with them,” the law director said. “That’s the kind of atmosphere we’re trying to project there.”

On a not-so-positive note, Hatcher noted that traffic violations have taken a sharp upturn after being down most of the year.

Safety-Service Director Jay Fleming noted that the July brush pick-up started Monday, while also distributing a summary of hours for city parks. Fleming noted that, while the city no longer has control over Memorial Park, adjacent to American Legion Post 178 on West Main Street, he wants to add Franklin Park hours to the list. Fleming said he feels park closing hours should be 10 p.m.-6 a.m. and would like Council to take legislative action soon on the request.

The safety-service director also talked about delays on the Jefferson Street bridge project, which will see its start date pushed back to May 26, 2020, and also noted that paving started today on Phase 3 of the Vision Park project, with Phase 4 being work on John Brown Road.

Fleming said the wastewater treatment plant project is pretty much completed, but rain is needed to complete final testing on the project.

The safety-service director also addressed a question from a city resident who had a high water bill. Fleming said a lot of variables can affect water usage, including the last time an actual reading was conducted — which can be six months ago — and a change in the number of people in a household.

“There a hundred reasons while a bill is higher,” he noted.

Fleming was also asked a question on when the Central Avenue-Washington Street traffic light will be replaced, with the safety-service director noting that a crew was supposed to be in town this week to install the new lights, but didn’t make it.

City Council also appears to be leaning toward having Miami County handle building inspections in the city. Council President Jon Tomlinson said that, while the final decision will be made by the Van Wert County Board of Commissioners, the commissioners are waiting to see what City Council wants, since most building inspections are conducted in the city.

Health-Service-Safety Committee Chair Bill Marshall said that a code enforcement problem seen lately concerns tenants who leave an apartment, but who place unwanted furniture and other items in front of the building. Council members were in agreement that landlords were responsible for making sure the items were removed.

Parks and Recreation Committee Chair Joel Penton reported that bleachers have now been installed at Smiley Park.

Legislatively, Council approved on first and final reading an appropriations measure that was placed on the consent agenda. Tomlinson also noted that a committee-of-the-whole meeting will be scheduled on a non-Council meeting evening for a presentation on charter government issues.

The next meeting of Van Wert City Council will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 22, in Council Chambers on the second floor of the Municipal Building, 515 E. Main St.

POSTED: 07/09/19 at 12:13 am. FILED UNDER: News