Wauseon City Council Eliminates Pay Caps For Crossing Guards

Resolution 2013-9 received its third and final reading during Wauseon City Council’s regularly scheduled meeting held on November 4. The resolution repeals Section 2 of Ordinance 1999-18 and Section 20 of Ordinance 1990-35, in effect eliminating the pay cap for crossing guards and opening up the ability for Chief Torbet and the City to evaluate the crossing guards and give them regularly scheduled pay increases in the same manner as other city employees. With Councilor Fred Allen being absent from the meeting, the resolution passed unanimously with a 5-0 vote. Also passing on the third and final reading was Resolution 2013-30 which authorizes the mayor to enter into an amendment for indigent defense services in county court with the Fulton County Commissioners.
Prior to addressing these legislative matters, council also heard committee reports and reports from department heads. Councilor Mathews reported for the finance committee that the committee had met to discuss the purchase of a replacement sewer camera for the Public Works Department to attach to the van. Council accepted the recommendation made by the committee to purchase the new camera in the amount of $44,680.68 to come out of the wastewater capital fund.

Councilor Stiriz reported on behalf of the Safety and Code Committee that the committee had met regarding a request by a concerned citizen about safety concerns regarding walkers, joggers, and bicyclists on Burr Road. The city does sidewalk repair and installation yearly but has not had the necessary funds for Burr Road. Councilor Chamberlin requested that Chief Torbet remind everyone of the rules regarding pedestrians. Torbet reminded everyone that when there are sidewalks in place that the city asks that pedestrians use the sidewalks. If there are no sidewalks, pedestrians can walk on the roadway but need to walk against traffic and wear light colored clothing. Vehicles are required to yield to pedestrians but pedestrians need also remember that this does not give them the right to run out into the roadway or to cause other safety hazards.

Council also heard department head reports. Fire Chief Rick Sluder reported that he has been working with the Public Works Department to get the fire hydrant database updated in the city along with working on the computerized fire inspection program. Sluder distributed to council a sample of the fliers that the department has been sending out to area businesses and expressed that the department is finding out that a lot of business owners didn’t realize what needed to be done in regards to a fire safety program and that the owners and occupants of the businesses were not communicating with one another about violations. The new system will notify the occupant and the business owner about fire inspections.

Police Chief Keith Torbet reported that over 40 pounds of prescription pills in Wauseon and an additional 40 pounds throughout the rest of the county were taken back during Drug Take Back Day on October 26. Torbet also reported that he has applied for the JAG-LE grant to use for upgraded computer wiring in the department. Concilor Jeff Stiriz asked Chief Torbet how the new arrangement with the Ohio State Patrol having an office in the Wauseon Police Department has been working. Torbet explained that everything is going fine but that he would like to get the wiring done to allow for that office to have computer access.

Director of Public Service Dennis Richardson reported that the curbs are completed on the east side of Fairway Lane and the seeding and restoration is done on the Airport Highway sanitary sewer project. Richardson also reminded everyone that the Public Works Department is picking up leaves only and that there will be no brush pick up until after the first of the year.

Director of Finance Jamie Giguere reported that the city is currently 2.5% ahead of last year’s income tax receipts. Director of Law Thomas McWatters III reported that he has been continuing his work on the Lexipol Standards Policy Manual for Chief Torbet and that he hopes to have it completed by the end of the month.

In new business Councilor Chamberlin asked if there have been any new developments regarding the dead tree removal project at 420 N. Shoop Aveneue. Mayor Doug Shaw responded that the city has had a couple of quotes but is still working on that aspect. Councilor Stiriz reported that the homeowner has given verbal consent to move forward with the project. McWatters also noted that he has prepared a draft agreement for the homeowner to sign once the city is ready to move forward with the project.

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