Kirby Kelly (right) is sworn in by Council President Ken Mengerink as councilman at large before Wednesday evening’s council meeting . Kelly is assuming the term of the retired Brent Crone. (dhi MEDIA/Ed Gebert)
Kirby Kelly (right) is sworn in by Council President Ken Mengerink as councilman at large before Wednesday evening’s council meeting . Kelly is assuming the term of the retired Brent Crone. (dhi MEDIA/Ed Gebert)

VAN WERT — A familiar face was back at Van Wert City Council’s Wednesday evening session. Kirby Kelly, who served as Third Ward Councilman in 2010 and 2011 was back on the governing body, taking over the at-large seat formerly held by Brent Crone. He will serve out that term running through 2015. Kelly was sworn in prior to the council’s regular session.

The session itself was quick and to the point with only a few pieces of legislation brought forward. One of those allows the city to award contracts to do street painting this summer. Mayor Don Farmer reported that he was seeking authorization to sign an agreement between the city and Van Wert County to cooperate for community development block grants. That authorization was granted by City Council.

Safety-Service Director Jay Fleming noted that the city and county are combining funds for chip and sealing on Old Tile Factory Rd./Leeson Ave. as far as the east end of the airport. The county will be doing the work with the city paying for its share of the roadway being repaired.
Councilman Stan Agler reported that there had been no objections raised to the proposed liquor licenses for Ruler Foods and for Wassenberg Art Center, so those licenses would be granted.

Legislation for supplemental appropriations were introduced Wednesday evening, but will not be voted on again until council’s June 9 meeting. Proposed expenditures include $20,000 for new flooring and paint in the Municipal Building, $15,000 for technology updates in Council Chambers for broadcasting City Council meetings live, $50,000 for the Parks Department in the development of Franklin Park at the former site of Franklin School, and $100,000 to assist economic development partners Main Street Van Wert, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Van Wert County Regional Airport. These appropriations will come from recent windfalls in inheritance taxes and last year’s Atrizine settlement.



First Ward Councilman John Marshall reported that the city wrote tickets for 70 code violations between March 12-23, mostly dealing with excessive weeds at residences.

Farmer also reported that he has been in contact with owners of the former gas station at the corner of W. Main St. and Sibley St. to force the ownership to either repair the building and lot or demolish it. He stated that he anticipates hearing a reply in the near future.