BY LINDSAY MCCOY
Times Bulletin News Writer
VAN WERT — Van Wert City Council said goodbye to four of their own Monday evening. Councilmen Jeff Agler, Stuart Jewett, and Pete Weir all said farewell to their seats on council. Council President Gary Corcoran also retired after 12 years serving as part of council.
Two of the departing councilman, Agler and Jewett, both expressed disappointed that they were unable to pass legislation for the city to obtain the Washington school property as their last major piece of legislation on council.
After a meeting with the Van Wert City School Board of Education, councilman had affirmation that the city was welcome to the vacant property, but following this meeting another meeting was held with Superintendent Ken Amstutz, Mayor Don Farmer, and Safety Service Director Jay Fleming.
During this additional meeting, it was discovered that two additional parties, both of which remain unnamed at this time, have interest in participating in the deal.
“This deal will be worked on with the two additional parties and the superintendent to work on an agreement,” Farmer said. Farmer also relieved worries from Youth Football representatives that they will still be a part of the deal to use the property."
The Washington property issue will be brought back to committee in 2014 to be discussed and considered by new members of council. Farmer believes that looking to an additional party would be a fiscally responsible option for the city.
The Streets and Alleys Committee met to discuss sidewalk and street conditions within the city. Weir reflected on the 2001 Street Survey which showed that of the 195 streets in Van Wert, 30 were not contained in the 2001 rating and 41 of these streets or sections of the streets have a poor rating.
“The reason for this report is to have the next councilmen visit their wards and report on their streets,” Weir explained. Weir is hopeful to see the next councilman and Streets and Alleys Committee chairman move forward from the point where his term stopped and not fall backwards.
Farmer signed the purchase agreement between the Municipal Court and First Financial for the purchase of the building for the new court location. Auditor Martha Balyeat also discussed the option of the city to invest in its own debt by taking control of its own bonds. She stated that she believes this would be a win-win situation for the city.
Council passed an ordinance to accept the temporary appropriations to the expenses and temporary budget for the upcoming year. Also accepted were the transfers of supplemental appropriations.
“That will do it for the end of the year,” noted Balyeat.
Councilman Stan Agler continued, “We had a set of goals to achieve and we met those. We put a lot into this.” Corcoran added that the administration needs to be commended for bending a bit. He admitted that council has turned a page in terms of finances and now looks financial sound.
First Ward Councilman John Marshall reported that as of the end of 2013, 421 code violations have been addressed and taken care during the year. Marshall thanked Weir and Jeff Agler for their support of this issue while on council.
Fleming reported that the Fox Rd./ Shannon St. traffic light is actively working and will be tweaked and fine-tuned in the upcoming week. Jewett also reported that the Smiley park concession stand deadline is set for February 2014.
On Monday, Dec. 30, the newly-elected city officials will be held at the Van Wert Municipal Court in a 3 p.m ceremony.