The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, May. 27, 2018

Council accepts annexation application

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Van Wert City Council accepted an annexation request for a new subdivision planned for the former Dickinson Farm, and also heard a presentation related to an addiction services facility located in the former Starr Commonwealth site on Lincoln Highway.

Dan Stemen, lead counselor for U.S. Addiction Services, talks about a new facility the company will be opening soon at the former Van Wert campus of Starr Commonwealth. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

As part of consent agenda legislation, Council members unanimously accepted an annexation application for 159.35 acres of land west of Chief Supermarket. The application was submitted by G4 Partners LLC, a limited liability corporation consisting of investors Scott Niswonger, Andy Czajkowski, Chuck Koch, and Tom Turnwald. The proposal is for a subdivision that would include nearly 300 lots for housing mostly within a range of $150,000 to $220,000, for which Van Wert has a growing need.

Another part of the proposal is the construction of a new YMCA, or possibly a combined YMCA-YWCA facility adjacent to the subdivision, as well as a bike path to the school complex on Ohio 118.

A public hearing will be scheduled on the proposal prior to a vote on annexing the land, which is currently in Pleasant Township, into the city.

Council also heard a presentation from Dan Stemen, lead counselor for U.S. Addiction Services, which has renovated the former Starr Commonwealth facility on Lincoln Highway to provide full medical detox, residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment services.

Stemen invited City Council members to tour the local facility, and noted that Mayor Jerry Mazur has already done so.

The mayor said he was impressed with the 105-bed facility, which should provide 50-100 jobs for area residents.

“We’re looking for a lot of success,” Mayor Mazur said of the new treatment facility.

The mayor also talked about a planned Sister City trip to Sumoto, Japan, planned for next year. Mayor Mazur said 13 people are interested in taking the trip, and he would like to be able to take all 13 to Japan, if possible. Fundraising events will be scheduled in the future to help defray the cost of the trip for those involved.

Also during his report, the mayor noted he wanted Council to renew Van Wert High School Principal Bob Priest’s position on the Van Wert Area Economic Development Corporation board when his current term ends. Priest is currently one of two VWAEDC board members appointed by the city.

During her report, City Auditor Martha Balyeat had some good financial news, noting that income tax collections are up, and, if collections follow a model established over the past 20 years, the city could see an increase of approximately 5 percent over last year.

As of April, the city has collected $105,000 more than it has spent, Balyeat noted.

Safety-Service Director Jay Fleming reported that letters have been sent out to residents of High Street prior to a tree removal project planned for that street.

Health Service and Safety Committee Chair Bill Marshall said code violations have increased, but mostly in the grass and weed area. He urged city residents to maintain their properties.

Parks and Recreation Committee Chair Joel Penton noted that three part-time park employees have been hired for the summer, while volunteers continue to help maintain the city park sites.

Judiciary and Annexation Committee Chair Joi Mergy noted that a Community Reinvestment Area request has been made for property at 700 Fox Road, which is currently the site of The Times Bulletin newspaper offices.

Legislatively, several other items were approved on the consent agenda, including supplemental appropriation and fund transfer ordinances and ordinance approving CRA agreements for MacWhite LLC and Fox Road Investments LLC

An ordinance to amend the Van Wert City Code of Ordinances by renumbering Section 152.45 to Section 96.24 was passed on third and final reading.

The next meeting of the Van Wert City Council has been moved from Monday, May 28, to Wednesday, May 30, because of the Memorial Day holiday. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers in the Municipal Building, 515 E. Main St.

POSTED: 05/15/18 at 7:37 am. FILED UNDER: News