The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Sep. 27, 2022

VW City Council covers various topics

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

A number of different topics were addressed at Van Wert City Council’s meeting on Monday.

Economic Development Committee Chairman Jeff Kallas said the demolition of the former Van Wert Inn on Washington St. has been successfully bid and he said he’s hopeful the vacant building will come down this fall. Kallas added the Land Bank is very close to acquiring the long vacant Anthony Wayne School on Jefferson St. Bids will be sought to tear down that building as well.

After hearing an overwhelming negative response to the idea of a single trash hauler in the city, Health, Service and Safety Committee Chairman Bill Marshall suggested it be scrapped, but that future discussions be held with current haulers on possible ways to help residents dispose of large items.

During a brief report to council, Mayor Ken Markward said the city may do a trash voucher offering for larger items in October, similar to what was done last September. He noted parking is now allowed on Vine St. between Main and Central. The area has been marked as a no parking zone. Markward also noted a new police officer, Devin Sanchez, has joined the force.

City Auditor Martha Balyeat said the city is where it was projected to be financially.

Van Wert City Council meetings are now live streamed on the city’s website. Pictured from left to right: First Ward Councilman Jeff Agler, Law Director John Hatcher, Council President Jerry Mazur, Council Clerk Drew Bittner and Councilwoman At-Large Judy Bowers. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

Westwood Behavioral Health Center CEO Mark Spieles gave a 30-minute presentation on the potential effects of junk/rubbish and clean property can have on children. Spieles noted a family’s economic status can play a significant role.

“Having a clean home helps with the self-esteem of children and adults, something they can be proud of,” Spieles said. “I think that’s important.”

Spieles also suggested that court fines aren’t effective when it comes to junk/rubbish cleanup, especially among low income households.

“There’s no money there to get and it’s not going to influence the behavior,” he stated. “If we really identify people who just can’t afford to do it, they’re typically going to be hooked up with an agency. If we can work with those agencies there are times we may be able to access resources to help them out.”

He said most churches offer help and some citizens have come forward to lend assistance as well.

Van Wert Forward Property Manager Hall Block informed council members that the organization is starting to work on traffic control in the area of the Odd Fellows building at the corner of Main and Washington.

“We are getting ready to install new sidewalks and new underground utilities and things of that nature,” he explained. “With that we do need to bring out traffic control around that entire area and cordon it off to keep the public safe.”

The plan includes rerouting truck traffic. Work is expected to begin August 22 and run through mid-December.

Council members also learned a small group of citizens has been clearing weeds and high grass at the reservoir.

The next meeting of Van Wert City Council is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday, August 22, in Council Chambers on the second floor of the Municipal Building, 515 E. Main St. A Judiciary and Annexation Committee meeting will be held at 6:15 that night to discuss the downtown P.A. system. Council meetings are now live streamed at vanwert.org.

POSTED: 08/09/22 at 3:39 am. FILED UNDER: News