By: Rebecca Miller
At the Monday night May 5, 2020 Wauseon City Council meeting a motion was passed to schedule a Public Hearing for May 18, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. concerning an application for Zoning Change for Sarah’s Garden. It would change if from a single family home to a mixed community use in order to open a Vocational School/Coffee Shop.
Wauseon City Council member Harold Stickley introduced into new business a concern, that was raised by a gentleman who called him on Saturday, May 2, 2020. Stickley asked the Mayor and Police Chief if they could explain why “eight kids out on skateboards at the skate park got sent home” by the police.
Mayor Kathy Huner explained that the city has been trying to follow the mandates that have been given, including from the Health Department. Policies and procedures are such that groups are not yet allowed to congregate at the park.
Chief Kevin Chittenden said that there was no problem when it happened. The young people were respectful as was the officer who pulled up and asked them to disperse. One of the young people said they did not realize they weren’t allowed to be there, so police tape is now up at the park so they will know.
Stickley asked what the city can do for the youth, to make a place open to them and also to “help them not have their rights stomped on?” Mayor Huner said that the parks will be opened as soon as they “say we can.”
Chittenden explained that the Health Department director had asked them to “keep an eye on those parks” to assure that groups are not assembling. Mayor Huner added that it is the equipment that is closed. The parks are open for trail use, fishing and walking, but not for the use of equipment for group activities.
In other business, Council voted to approve meetings from the last meeting as well as payment of bills. City Finance Officer Jamie Giguere gave council an update, explaining that tax revenue is down 17.8% from last year. She believes they will get caught up when the taxes start coming in closer to the adjusted July date.
She is working on making some charts to forecast the state of the finances after the COVID-19 pandemic is past. She reported that stimulus funds in the amount of $111,000 have been received by the city.
City Administrator Keith Torbet reported that the South Shoop Ave. waterline is ahead of schedule; recommended that council members go see the trail west of town between Bickman and County Road 16 as “it looks great; and announced that Health Commissioner Kim Cupp is trying to get the guidelines concerning if and when the pool can be opened for swimming.
He said he definitely wants to get it open but doesn’t know the guidelines and restrictions yet. In answer to a question from council member Steve Schneider he said that the cost will be prorated and fair.
Council member Shane Chamberlin raised the question of when the Tennis Courts will be unlocked and available. Torbet said that as soon as they get the “ok” from the Health Department, the tennis courts, playgrounds and basketball courts will reopen.
He said that Cupp is looking into at least getting some advance notice concerning these openings.
City Attorney Tom McWatters reported that the COVID-19 Response Team met with department heads and determined that the policies are up to date. The policies have been sent to employees.
A third and final reading of a Resolution authorizing the mayor to advertise for bids for downtown ADA ramps and to accept the lowest and best bidder, was approved.
Rebecca can be reached at publisher@thevillagereporter
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Source: The Village Reporter