The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Jul. 19, 2018

Council amends building permit language

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Van Wert City Council approved legislation allowing Mayor Jerry Mazur to accept the deed for Franklin Park from the Van Wert County Foundation, as well as an amendment to the city income tax ordinance related to use of the 0.5 percent street income tax to allow installation of sidewalks to be included in street reconstruction projects, and a number of supplemental appropriations during its regular meeting on Monday.

Van Wert Mayor Jerry Mazur reports on a drainage project starting next week on Rosalie Drive during Monday’s Van Wert City Council meeting. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

With Franklin Park now in use, the foundation, which received the deed for the property from the Van Wert City Board of Education, is turning it over to the city now that the park is in operation. A formal deed transfer ceremony will be held at Franklin Park at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 21.

Council President Jon Tomlinson noted that he now has a proposed contract from American Legal Publishing Corporation to allow for a reduction in the number of city code books printed by that company. Council has been looking to reduce the number of code books to save some money, but also to make it easier for Council Clerk Tara Fox to update the books when ordinances are amended or replaced.

Tomlinson said City Law Director John Hatcher would review the contract and discussion would take place during the first Council meeting in August.

During his report, the mayor commended American Legion Post 178 for hosting the Holiday at Home celebration on July 4, while also noting that the July brush pick-up began on Monday and the Rosalie Drive drainage project will begin next week.

City Auditor Martha Balyeat noted that the General Fund spent approximately $123,000 less than it took in, as of the end of June. Taxes were up $126,000 in June as well, while state and shared funding were both down.

While city revenues are ahead of spending, Balyeat noted one reason for that is because the city is still using a portion of the 0.22-percent Safety Service Capital Tax to fund police and fire department salaries and benefits. The auditor noted that the city is using a third of the tax this year and benefits, and is expected to use the full two-thirds allowable next year for that purpose.

“We all need to keep in mind, the fact that we’re using that safety tax to fund General Fund salaries and fringe benefits, that prohibits us from increasing staff in any other General Fund department,” Balyeat said, adding that adding a code enforcement officer or more parks employees can only be accomplished if the city is not using the safety service capital tax.

During his report, Health, Service & Safety Committee Chair Bill Marshall talked about changes being made to code language related to city building permits. If the changes are approved, any construction costing more than $300 requires a city building permit.

Legislation was introduced during Monday’s City Council meeting.

Streets and Alleys Committee Chair Steve Trittschuh talked about complaints received concerning the traffic light at the intersection of Washington Street and Central Avenue, with some discussion on whether that light should be replaced. Most of the traffic lights in the downtown area have been replaced as part of street reconstruction projects in the area, but not the light in question.

The next meeting of Van Wert City Council will be 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 23, in Council Chambers on the second floor of the Municipal Building, 515 E. Main St. in Van Wert.

POSTED: 07/10/18 at 7:59 am. FILED UNDER: News