The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Jan. 24, 2022

Ward boundaries to change in Van Wert

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

Wards within the Van Wert city limits will change to help evenly balance out the population in each one, based on the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Van Wert City Council President Jon Tomlinson jots down a note during Monday night’s meeting. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

During Monday night’s “council of the whole” meeting of Van Wert City Council, council members agreed that of four options previously submitted by the administration, Option C was the best (see maps below). It was also noted that the fastest growth in the city appears to be in Wards 3 and 4.

“There’s very little that affects anything except for the voting for these four (council) seats and occasionally a liquor permit,” Council President Jon Tomlinson said.

The change is expected to be formally approved by the end of this year and it will take effect with the 2023 elections.

During the regular meeting of Council, Auditor Martha Balyeat said all funds in the budget have a positive balance and she noted that general fund revenues are $600,000 ahead of this time last year, with most of that coming from a 13-14 percent increase in income tax dollars.

She also talked about distributions from the city’s hotel/motel tax.

“It has picked up this year, but we’re not back to where we were prior to COVID,” Balyeat explained. “This year we’ve distributed $18,000 more than what we took in which is not an issue because we did have a balance to start with. I don’t know if we want to a formula for the airport and Main Street based on revenues collected or leave it the way it is.”

“Convention and Visitors Bureau gets 25 percent by statute, economic development gets $80,000 a year and Main Street and the airport ask us annually for support,” the auditor.

Mayor Ken Markward and Safety-Service Director Jay Fleming were absent from the meeting but in written reports Markward said 288 vouchers were picked up for the citywide cleanup program, with 153 used so far. He also noted the Main Street Van Wert Fountain Park tree lighting ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 24. Fleming issued a reminder that leaf pickup will continue through the week of December 6.

Parks and Recreation Committee Chairman Joel Penton said cameras have been installed and are operational in the bandstand area at Fountain Park. He added he hopes the cameras will hope curb recent cases of vandalism.

Fourth ward councilman Andrew Davis thanked the 23 people who ran for the Charter Commission, even though the issue was turned down by voters.

Council members passed an indigent burial policy and heard the second reading of an ordinance that amends municipal court salaries, and one that deals with nuisance ordinance amendments.

Tomlinson announced that new Council members will be sworn in at 6 p.m. Monday, January 10.

The next meeting of Van Wert City Council will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, November 22, in Council Chambers on the second floor of the Municipal Building, 515 E. Main St. A “council of the whole” is scheduled for 6 p.m. to discuss the 2022 city budget.

POSTED: 11/09/21 at 4:47 am. FILED UNDER: News