Main Street Van Wert Program Director Adam Ries asked City Council to alter the time of next Monday's meeting to allow everyone to attend the Main Street Annual Dinner. (Times Bulletin/Ed Gebert)
Main Street Van Wert Program Director Adam Ries asked City Council to alter the time of next Monday's meeting to allow everyone to attend the Main Street Annual Dinner. (Times Bulletin/Ed Gebert)

BY ED GEBERT
Times Bulletin Editor
egebert@timesbulletin.com

VAN WERT -- It was not so much a meeting where many decisions were made. In fact, the only thing Van Wert City Council voted to approve was the paying of two bills. Still there was a lot of discussion and preparations for debates yet to come.

In a committee meeting prior to the regular council session, Van Wert Police Chief Joel Hammond was questioned about the possibility of considering putting tougher restrictions on the law against texting while driving. Hammond noted that there was nothing statistically to justify adding further restrictions. Council members agreed to continue to monitor the issue. Hammond was asked to keep them advised.

By the time the meeting began, the major issue was one of scheduling. Main Street Van Wert Program Director appeared to ask council members to rechedule a meeting which was already set for next Monday evening. That night is also the date for the annual dinner for the Main Street organization.

Eventually council decided to move its meeting time. The meeting of City Council's Judiciary Committee has been tentatively rescheduled for a 5 p.m. start on Monday, April 21 while the Main Street event will being with a social time at 5:30 p.m. and a program at 6:10 p.m. at the Wassenberg Art Center.

That committee meeting is to include members of council as well as members of the Economic Development Advisory Group. The purpose of the meeting is to consider a suggestion made by Third Ward Councilman Jerry Mazur to begin the process of opting out of a recently re-negotiated contract with Ohio State University Extension. Councilman at-large Stan Agler insisted that he believes next Monday's debate and meeting will take no more than one hour.

Van Wert Mayor Don Farmer reported that completing the required work for certification of the 1,600-acre Van Wert Super Site is near, and that the time is being counted down in the number of days, rather than the number of weeks. He indicated that American Electric Power still has some work to complete, but that a meeting with the state over certification should be scheduled soon.

Farmer also noted that tax revenues in the city for the first quarter of 2014 is nine percent higher than the first quarter of 2013, and that he is expecting a large increase in April as well.

Safety-Service Director Jay Fleming informed council members that the Ohio Department of Transportation will be making funds available for bridge inspection in the city, and that the bridges will be inspected at no cost to the City of Van Wert, pending council action at the next council meeting on April 28.

Council will also be convening to pass legislation to determine a president pro tem of that body for each council year.