The Wauseon City Council held their meeting on Monday, December 20th at 5:00 p.m. The meeting was called to order followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence.
The minutes from the previous council meeting were then approved before council moved to hear from individuals that wished to address council.
A motion was made and approved to include Wauseon Machine and Matt Gilroy as individuals who were wishing to address council.
Matt Gilroy, who is the Director of the Fulton County Economic Development Corporation, spoke first and discussed the need for housing development in the area as well as some of the constraints.
He stated that it would be a good idea to hear from one of the largest employers in the community. President and CEO of Wauseon Machine Scott Anair then spoke along with CFO Matthew Bombick, and HR Manager Crystal Escalera.
The three presented views as to why the TIF program is valuable to the City of Wauseon. They also stated that the company has been in the area for 39 years and has had good growth during that time.
The issue shared with council however was that the company’s expansion has hit a sort of speed bump. The demand for what Wauseon Machine offers is increasing, however the labor pool continues to shrink.
It was then shared that Wauseon Machine is planning on doubling the size of the company in this region within the next three to five years. This will create numerous jobs that may also be six figure paying jobs. Recruiting for these jobs will be taking place within the local schools of the four-county region.
The issue is, outside talent that have been brought in, have had issues finding places to live in the area. In one instance that was given, a manufacturing engineer manager had to rent a house in Angola, Indiana due to not being able to find one in an area close to Wauseon.
It was also said that several new workers brought into the area also had to rent houses and had issues finding them in Wauseon.
Mayor Huner then asked Scott Anair if the people moving to Wauseon were looking more into buying a home to stay long term or to rent. Mr. Anair informed her that, due to the compelling vision the company has given a well as its growth, people are looking more into buying.
Mr. McWatters then asked if Wauseon Machine would be interested in partnering as an investor in a future TIF, to which the response from Mr. Anair was that they would be interested in looking into it.
Council then moved to hear committee reports with Councilor Griggs giving a report for the Tree Commission.
A summary of the December 13th, 2021, meeting was then given followed by a report that the commission held general discussions regarding tree removals and tree plantings within the city.
There were a total of 28 tree removals for the year 2021 and a shipment was received for more trees to be planted. It was also shared that Tree City USA will be held by the City of Wauseon in 2023.
The following legislation items were then discussed and approved by council. An Emergency reading for Resolution 2021-21 authorizing the mayor to enter into an agreement for a countywide emergency management agency pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 5502; and declaring an emergency.
An Emergency reading for Resolution 2021-22 authorizing the mayor to enter into an agreement for indignant defense services in County Court with the Fulton County Commissioners; and declaring an emergency.
An Emergency reading for Resolution 2021-23 approving a wage increase for Non-Union employees; and declaring an emergency. An Emergency reading for Resolution 2021-24 to amend Resolution 2019-14 and the designation of public depositories and awarding public monies and authorizing the mayor to sign memoranda of agreements with the public depositories and the city of Wauseon; and declaring an emergency.
An Emergency reading for Resolution 2021-25 authorizing the director of finance to establish a new fund for the depositing and administration of funds from certain Fire and EMS levies; and declaring an emergency. The First reading for Ordinance 2021-13 providing for a City Law Director, Assistant Law Director, and setting a rate of compensation.
The first reading for Ordinance 2021-14 to make appropriations for current expenses and other expenditures of the City of Wauseon, State of Ohio, during the fiscal year ending December 31st, 2022.
The second reading for Resolution 2021-16 authorizing the mayor to issue a request for qualifications for an engineer.
Council then moved on to new business with a motion being made and approved to authorize the director of finance to pay bills through December 31st, 2021.
A motion was then made and approved to appoint Council President Chamberlin and Councilor Stiriz to the Volunteer Firefighter Dependent Board.
Patrick Griggs was recognized for his service to the citizens of Wauseon. Mayor Huner also presented him with a plaque and thanked him for the knowledge that he brought to the City of Wauseon.
Council then moved to approve and pay the bills as presented before entering into executive session.
Council exited executive session at 5:50 p.m. where Mayor Huner then advised council that it was her recommendation that Finance Director, Jamie Giguere, receive a one-time bonus in the amount of $1,500 for 2021 for her exemplary work during the year.
Council President Chamberlin recommended that the Clerk of Council receive at 3.75% increase in salary, which would consist of a 3% annual increase similar to that received by non-union employees.
0.75% of the increase was merit based due to her evaluation scores. A motion was made to approve the recommendations which was approved.
Councilor Schneider then made a motion with Councilor Heising to appoint Brandon Tijerina to fill the unexpired term of Jeff Stiriz on City Council, effective January 1st, 2022.
The motion was approved. Council then moved to adjourn for the evening.