The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018

Council looks at Vision Park flood project

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Van Wert City Council looked at ways to curtail flooding in the Vision Park area and also talked about legislation banning the feeding of stray animals within the city limits.

Van Wert Safety-Service Director Jay Fleming listens to a question on a project to solve a flooding problem in the Vision Industrial Park area while standing in front of a map of the industrial park. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

Safety-Service Jay Fleming discussed three areas where flooding occurs in Vision Park, including an area on Vision Drive, one on Production Drive, and one on John Brown Road. Fleming advised that the areas would be built up, while a dike-like construction would be installed to trap floodwaters automatically.

Council approved preparing legislation to move forward on the project, and is expected to pass the ordinance on first and final reading during the next Council meeting on March 26.

Mayor Jerry Mazur talked about the granting of a national historic preservation certification to the city by the National Parks Service that will assist in obtaining grants and other funding for local projects.

The mayor also reminded city residents that they are not allowed to feed stray cats, which would include pets that do not stay on the owner’s property at all times. The city’s ordinance is designed to stop stray animals — and even pets — from running loose within the city.

“Pets must stay on their property all of the time (to be considered pets),” Mayor Mazur asserted.

The updated legislation also includes a $500 fine per occurrence.

City Auditor Martha Balyeat said she had some concerns about tax revenues, noting that revenues are not up to what she feels they should be at the present time. Balyeat noted that, in reviewing tax collections going back to 1999, she found that collections averaged 18.8 percent of total collections by now, with the city substantially below that average at this point.

“That’s a little bit of a concern,” she said.

The auditor also said the city had spent $184,000 more than it had taken in at the end of February, but noted that isn’t unusual, with spending usually leveling out with revenues by the end of March.

Balyeat also noted that the city had received documentation from the Van Wert County Board of County Commissioners related to the annexation of the Dickinson Farm property adjacent to Van Wert-Decatur Road. Council must wait 60 days before taking action on the annexation, but a pre-annexation agreement has already been approved on the property, while Council President Jon Tomlinson noted that he believes the intent of Council is to approve the annexation on first and final reading during its May 14 meeting.

During his report, Parks and Recreation Committee Chair Joel Penton noted that he is seeking volunteers to cut grass in city parks this summer, while donations are also needed to defray costs for the city’s upcoming Easter Egg Hunt in Smiley Park.

Legislatively, Council approved an ordinance allowing Fleming to seek bids for the city’s annual street cleaning project, as well as an emergency ordinance authorizing the transfer of funds from Fund 101 to Fund 215.

The city’s permanent appropriations ordinance was also read for the second time and should come up for passage at the March 26 meeting.

The next meeting of Van Wert City Council will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 26, in Council Chambers on the second floor of the Municipal Building, 515 E. Main St.

POSTED: 03/13/18 at 8:28 am. FILED UNDER: News