(Times Bulletin/Lindsay McCoy)
BY LINDSAY MCCOY
Times Bulletin News Writer
VAN WERT - During Monday night's Van Wert City Council meeting, Mayor Don Farmer reported on the continuing issue of solicitors coming to residents' homes concerning their energy bills. Farmer reminded that those wishing to solicit must obtain a permit from the city to go door to door. An arrest has now been made pertaining to the issue. Farmer urges residents not to share their energy bills with anyone as it can be used without their permission to switch providers. Upon the arrival of a solicitor, residents should ask to see their permit and if they do not have one should immediately call the police to report the illegal activity.
Farmer also reported that construction on Wall Street is now complete and open, and the windows of the Home Guard Building have no been boarded up for the winter.Downtown two-hour parking issues has been improving thanks to the recent legislation by council. Bids have also begun for the Super Site railroad spur and bridge construction.
City income tax collections were down $6,000 for the month of November but are up $300,000 for the year.
"We are looking at a strong finish for 2012," said Farmer. "We should have a substantial carry over into 2013."
Law Director John Hatcher is continuing the search for answers about the high bills issued to the city when the jail requires police to take arrestees to the hospital before jail. Hatcher discovered that city police are being charged more for this service than the sheriff's department. The next step in the investigation is questioning why these rates are different and if the city police are eligible for these lower rates. This would make a substantial difference in current billing amounts. There is still hope that these charges can be referred to the person being arrested and in need of these services.
In recent weeks, Streets and Alleys Chairman Pete Weir received a petition hoping to stall legislation increasing the speed on S. Walnut St. Community members received 26 signatures after going door-to-door. Ordinances to modify speed limits on Leeson Ave. and Bonnewitz Ave. passed their second reading, but the ordinance pertaining to S. Walnut St. was voted down and will not be discussed further at this time.
The ordinance to establish the new water and sewer rate and fees was voted through on its second reading and was also amended with set changed rates increasing by a penny each.
Health, Service, and Safety Chairman John Marshall reported that in November 15 code violations have been given out for garbage, junk, weeds, and furnitures violations for junk on resident's properties.
Community members are encouraged to attend the next committee meeting on Dec. 17, to discuss the prospect of an aquatic center in the city of Van Wert.