City Council Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF THE

VAN WERT CITY COUNCIL

June 8th, 2020

President Jon Tomlinson called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.

Pastor Keith Stoller gave the invocation.

On call of the roll: Marshall, Kallas, Penton, Agler, Mergy, Hellman and Davis were present.

Mergy made a motion to approve the agenda for the June 8th meeting. Seconded by Agler; all concurred.

Agler made a motion to approve the 5/20/20 minutes. Seconded by Marshall; all concurred.

 

COMMENTS, COMMUNICATIONS & PETITIONS

The President shared photocopies of a memorandum from Garry Hunter who is with the Ohio Municipal Attorney’s Association, we have a contract with his group that is assisting us with the upcoming charter government vote that will be talked about tonight with a couple of pieces of legislation.  Garry put together a memo to answer the question: Why should the charter question be presented to the citizens of Van Wert?  The President shared that the memo consisted of foundational information to share with those who are asking council members.  Garry Hunter also emailed a copy of the nominations form that can be used for the 15 member of the charter commission. The President also shared a flyer from the Van Wert Historical Society about memberships.

Chuck Koch and Stacy Adam were present to speak about the Van Wert County Airport Terminal updates, the ground lease and authorizing a sublease. The discussion addressed the desire by the Airport Authority to seek permission from the city to sublet the ground to the Port Authority where the new terminal will be built. This move would allow the Airport to save money related to building expenses such as prevailing wages. This is a common situation in which the Port Authority is permitted to assist for economic development reasons.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS

MAYOR:  The Mayor reported that he had thrown out the first pitch of Van Wert youth baseball at Jubilee Park today.  He also reported that the playgrounds, basketball courts and the splash pad would be open on Wednesday morning.

SAFETY SERVICE DIRECTOR:  Fleming noted that brush pickup is June 29th and a meeting was being held on Wednesday for the paving projects and that a schedule would be available by the next council meeting.

AUDITOR: Balyeat provided the May 31st bank reconcilement report.  The report shows $13.4 million on the books and $13.4 million in the various banks and investments.  The cash position report shows a positive balance in all funds as required.  The comparison report for 2020/2019 shows a lot of red, most of the report shows that most of the differences were things that were anticipated after seeing the income tax report.  Balyeat reported that the city projected a 10% loss in revenues at the beginning of spring due to COVID-19 issues and reported that at the end of May, 7% was shown.  The last page of the report shows $2.6 million was collected in the general fund and $2.8 million was spent.  The income tax report shows May collections and the report shows we are below $284,058.74 year to date.

Balyeat also presented council with an updated tax budget that estimates what revenues and expenses will be in the next year and reevaluates estimates from this year and it must be turned in the county by July 20th. The county uses this report to distribute local shares of real estate taxes. Balyeat noted that a formula is actually used and the report is a formality.  The tax budget reflects reductions from the original estimates for general fund revenues.  Income tax was reduced by 8% and charges for services 13%.  With these reductions, an estimated $724,000 will be carried over for 2021, instead of $1.4 million dollars.  For the 2021 expenditures, the only item Balyeat tried to adjust was wages based on the two labor unions that have settled their contracts.  At the end of 2021, a carryover balance of $208,000 would be carried over and would not cover the mandatory 5% reserve.  The projection for 2021 is that the city would go back to using the full 2/3 of the .22 tax.  Service funds do not show revenue issues and are funded by items that are not affected by COVID-19.  A public hearing was requested for the tax budget on July 13 at 6:15 pm to be voted on and so that it can be sent on to the county.

Balyeat reminded council members that they are required to have Sunshine Law training, one time during terms and it will be held via webinar on Tuesday, June 16, 2020.

LAW DIRECTOR: Hatcher updated council that a pretrial was scheduled for June 17th regarding the Market Street bridge appropriations and requested a brief executive session on June 22 to disclose the outcome of the pretrial.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS

HEALTH, SERVICE AND SAFETY: Marshall reported 70 code violations reported.  24 are open violations with most of the cases being weed and grass nuisances.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Kallas reported the economy had predicted 8 million job losses for Americans.  The unemployment number reports show 2.5 million jobs were added. Ohio unemployment numbers were expected for May, per county, the week of June 22.  Residents are invited to become members of the Economic Development Corporation.  Annual membership is just $5 and may be paid at the Economic Development Office at 145 E. Main Street in Van Wert.

The Economic Development Corporation will be hosting a virtual annual update using Zoom video conferencing on Tuesday June 16th at 6 p.m.  You will be able to join from your computer or by dialing in on your phone.  Please contact the office at 419-238-2999 or info@vanwerted.com and information will be forwarded to you.

PARKS AND RECREATION: Penton reported the parks would be in full operation by the end of the week.  The leagues are taking care of the social distancing rules and regulations and everything is going fine.

FINANCE:  Agler requested a public hearing for the tax budget on July 13 at 6:15 pm.

JUDICIARY AND ANNEXATION: Mergy motioned to introduce Ordinance Number 20-04-024: AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND THE VAN WERT CITY ORDINANCE 150.03 AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY on an emergency basis.  Agler seconded; all concurred.  Mergy motioned to introduce Ordinance Number 20-06-034: AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND THE VAN WERT CITY ORDINANCE 150.03 AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY on an emergency basis.  Agler seconded; all concurred.  Mergy motioned to introduce ORDINANCE NUMBER 20-06-035: AN ORDINANCE SUBMITTING THE QUESTION OF SELECTING A COMMISSION TO FRAME A CHARTER TO A VOTE OF THE QUALIFIED ELECTORS OF THE CITY OF VAN WERT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY on an emergency basis. Davis seconded; all concurred. Prior to the vote a discussion was held about the specific date ranges necessary to comply with Ohio election laws as it relates to establishing a charter commission and getting the vote onto the November 2020 ballot. Council was reminded of the President’s request to ‘recruit’ the 15 member commission and called council’s attention to Section 4 that allows for commission members to be nominated to fulfill the minimum 15 member number.

Mike Saylor was present to ask council to list descriptions before the final passage for any future agency or non-profit to use for zoning clarity.

STREETS AND ALLEYS: No report was given.

PROPERTIES AND EQUIPMENT:  Davis requested legislation to be prepared to renew the lease to the Airport Authority on an emergency basis.  Kallas seconded; all concurred.  Davis requested legislation to be prepared to approve the sublease to the Port Authority from the Airport Authority on an emergency basis.  Agler seconded; all concurred.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Code Enforcement

Charter Government

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS

1st Reading Advisory

Ordinance Number: 20-04-024                   Committee: Judiciary and Annexation

AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND THE VAN WERT CITY ORDINANCE 150.03 AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.

Marshall, Kallas, Penton, Agler, Mergy, Hellman and Davis voted yes.

1st Reading Advisory

Ordinance Number: 20-06-034                   Committee: Judiciary and Annexation

AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND THE VAN WERT CITY ORDINANCE 150.15 AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.

Marshall, Kallas, Penton, Agler, Mergy, Hellman and Davis voted yes.

1st Reading Advisory

ORDINANCE Number: 20-06-035            Committee: Judiciary and Annexation

AN ORDINANCE SUBMITTING THE QUESTION OF SELECTING A COMMISSION TO FRAME A CHARTER TO A VOTE OF THE QUALIFIED ELECTORS OF THE CITY OF VAN WERT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.

Marshall, Kallas, Penton, Agler, Mergy, Hellman and Davis voted yes.

Agler made a motion to adjourn at 7:40 p.m.; seconded by Davis; all concurred.