The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Mar. 19, 2019

Council introduces dog safety ordinance

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Van Wert City Council introduced an ordinance to protect canine residents from temperature extremes within the city and read the city’s permanent appropriations measure for the second time during a brief meeting held Monday.

Judiciary and Annexation Committee Chair Joi Mergy discusses an ordinance to better protect dogs from extreme weather while First Ward Councilman Jeff Agler listens during Monday’s Van Wert City Council meeting. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

Judiciary and Annexation Committee Chair Joi Mergy introduced the dog protection ordinance that seeks to ensure that dogs be brought into a proper shelter when temperatures are below 10 degrees and above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, or when a heat or wind-chill advisory is issued, and to protect them from rain, snow, wind, and sun.

Also Monday, City Auditor Martha Balyeat gave an update on city finances, noting that the city was $33,000 ahead of last year in revenues, while spending was outstripping revenues at this point in the year.

Balyeat noted that spending often was higher than revenues early in the year, adding that, while revenues were not as high as she would like, the situation was not a problem at this point.

“Nothing to be concerned about yet,” she added.

Mayor Jerry Mazur was unable to attend the meeting, as was Fourth Ward Councilman Steve Trittschuh, who was excused by the six Council members who attended Monday’s meeting.

During his report, Safety-Service Director Jay Fleming noted that a city wastewater project was progressing well.

First Ward Councilman Jeff Agler complained about problems with pickup trucks extending too far into the street in diagonal parking spots in the downtown area. Agler said the situation forces vehicles to be over into the left-turn lane and hampers those vehicles trying to turn left.

Council President Jon Tomlinson acknowledged there was a problem with pickups extending farther into the street than was intended, but noted that the situation was better than changing to parallel parking in those areas, which would decrease the number of parking spots available — something downtown merchants would not like.

“When we redid those, we didn’t want angled parking; the state didn’t want angled parking,” Tomlinson noted. “The state wanted parallel parking down that block, and the business owners of that block threw a fit, saying they were going to lose business, so we changed.

“There is (sic) unintentional repercussions of that decision,” he added, noting that incursions by pickup trucks and other large vehicles into the street is one of them.

The next meeting of Van Wert City Council will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 25, in Council Chambers on the second floor of the Municipal Building, 515 E. Main St.

The Judiciary and Annexation Committee will hold a meeting at 6 p.m. to discuss language related to variance and zoning appeals, while a public hearing on establishment of an agriculture district in Van Wert will be held at 6:20 that evening.

POSTED: 03/12/19 at 7:29 am. FILED UNDER: News