First Ward Councilman John Marshall gives the report of the Health, Service and Safety Committee Monday night in Council Chambers. (Times Bulletin/Ed Gebert)
First Ward Councilman John Marshall gives the report of the Health, Service and Safety Committee Monday night in Council Chambers. (Times Bulletin/Ed Gebert)
BY ED GEBERT
Times Bulletin Editor
egebert@timesbulletin.com

On Monday, Van Wert City Council was able to finish off some of the business members were forced to leave unfinished two weeks ago.

When the meeting was held on Jan. 27, only four of the seven members were present. This kept the body from quickly passing the agreement with the International Association of Firefighters, AFL-CIO, which would ratify the new three-year contract with the city's firefighters. Also the issuance and purchase of $1.5 million to buy and renovate the former bank building at the corner of Main and Washington streets for use by Van Wert Municipal Court. Both these items were quickly passed on second and final reading on Monday. 

Also passing was legislation which would allow the mayor to sign a community reinvestment agreement which would open the doors for Arby's to build at 872 N. Washington St.

With the union firefighters under contract, council took action to raise the maximum pay for non-bargaining city workers by 1.5 percent.

City Auditor Martha Balyeat reported that January's expenses were approximately $83,000 higher than January revenues. She did point out that at this 
point in the year, those figures are nothing to worry about, provided that ratio does not continue through the year.

Council members also had a brief discussion concerning economic development. Third Ward Councilman Jerry Mazur asked Mayor Don Farmer about the status of the city's contract with OSU Extension, sparking a bit of discussion concerning the meeting last last month between the Van Wert County commissioners and members of council. 

Questions remain about whether or not the commissioner's leaving that agreement nullifies the agreement made by OSU and the city. Law Director promised to have a legal opinion made after the legal department at OSU Extension returns its opinion. 

Council also talked about meeting again with the commissioners, this time with City Council hosting the meeting and deciding on the purpose and agenda. The timetable will likely depend on when Hatcher's legal opinion is given.