The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023

Van Wert ready to extend Vision Drive

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

“We’re ready to go and we’ll see what happens.”

That’s what Van Wert Safety-Service Director Jay Fleming said to Van Wert City Council about the pending winter storm expected to hit the area on Wednesday. Fleming said all of the city’s trucks are ready and operational and he asked city residents to remove their cars from streets to allow plow crews to come through.

Van Wert Safety-Service Director Jay Fleming update city council on a road extension at Vision Park. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

In other business at Monday night’s meeting, council approved legislation allowing Fleming to bid and award contracts to extend Vision Drive at Vision Industrial Park, with the cost to be covered by three different funding sources. The road extension is tied to “Project Hulk” – a potential new development at the site. Because of a non-disclosure agreement, few details have been released about it, but Van Wert Area Economic Development Executive Director Stacy Adam said at a previous meeting that it will be a $50 million investment, including a $17.5 million building.

Council members also gave approval to a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) agreement for Jennings Crossing LLC, a condominium development slated for construction just off Jennings Road.

A “then and now” payment in the amount of $3,882.20 was approved for the Van Wert County Regional Planning Commission for an annual assessment paid based on population, and council members approved Mayor Ken Markward’s appointment of Dewaine Johnson to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Johnson is filling the seat previously held by Richard Waters, who recently passed away. The term will expire on December 31, 2026.

Markward also informed council that approximately 20 people applied for executive director of the Van Wert Area Economic Development Corporation and six went through the first round of interviews, but no decision has been made. The current director, Stacy Adam, is retiring this spring.

During his report to council, Law Director John Hatcher said he couldn’t find anything in the city’s laws that prohibits trailer parks from upcharging for city water.

Fourth Ward Councilman Andrew Davis, who chairs the Judiciary and Annexation Committee, presented proposed changes to existing rules concerning the agenda. The most notable change would be moving public comment to after administrative reports to lump together public comments and questions for the administration.

“It just kind of puts things in an order that makes sense,” Davis said.

The proposal will be on the agenda at the next meeting.

Council members went into executive session at the end of the meeting and afterward approved a motion to have legislation prepared to amend the salary ordinance for safety personnel. According to Markward, this is the next step in the process of negotiations for a new contract. The legislation will appear on the next agenda.

The next meeting of Van Wert City Council will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, February 13, in Council Chambers on the second floor of the Municipal Building, 515 E. Main St.

POSTED: 01/24/23 at 4:47 am. FILED UNDER: News