Van Wert resident Shirley Straley addressed an issue she sees with litter and trash on City property during Monday’s City Council meeting. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
Van Wert resident Shirley Straley addressed an issue she sees with litter and trash on City property during Monday’s City Council meeting. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)

VAN WERT – City Council met on Monday and heard from a concerned citizen who asked what to do about litter found in streets and other areas of the city.

Resident Shirley Straley spoke about how she has been picking up litter such as disposed of diapers, bottle caps, and cigarette butts, among other pieces of trash, and asked if there is help in doing so.

“I’m seeing people swerving to miss the trash,” said Straley who noted that she’s reached out to the police for assistance.

Straley recalled a time a few weeks back where she spent two hours cleaning up hundreds of bottle caps that had been spilled on Ervin Road and another time where she picked up dozens of cigarette butts on the sidewalks of Main Street.

“There are cigarette butts everywhere, all the time,” said Straley. “To me, our town should be clean.”

Straley also asked what can be done about storm sewers that are becoming covered with grass clippings. Council advised that it is illegal for residents to mow or blow grass into roadways as it creates a safety issue for drivers and can lead to sewer clogs.

Safety-Service Director Jay Fleming advised Straley to call the 419-238-1237 to ask for assistance in cleaning up debris.

“Keeping our city clean is a continuous work in progress,” said Council President Jon Tomlinson.

Mayor Jerry Mazur commended Straley on her vigilance for taking the cleanup into her own hands and stated that until all people pitch in with their own properties and do their part in the clean up, the issue will likely continue.

During his report, Fleming stated that brush pickup will be the week of July 9 and that the Rosalie storm sewer project will begin Monday, July 16. The Vision/Industrial Park storm sewer project is scheduled to begin next Thursday.

During her report, City Auditor Martha Balyeat noted that income tax revenues were down for the month of May compared to a year ago. As a whole the City is $162,000 ahead of where they were last year, and the City has taken in around $81,000 more than they have spent for the year.

Council discussed language for changes to ordinance 18-06-043. Council hopes to make the ordinance less ambiguous to ensure residents and businesses know when they need proper building permits. Council read the ordinance for the first time and scheduled a committee meeting to further discuss the language at 6 p.m. prior to the next Council meeting on June 25.

A committee meeting was also set for 5:45 p.m. on June 25 to discuss a water billing issue.

In other business, Council read ordinance 18-06-041, an ordinance amending ordinance No. 5818-82, commonly known as the City Income Tax ordinance to amend the language allowing a change in use for the .5 percent street tax. The ordinance will be read three times.

During the consent agenda, Council passed ordinance 18-06-042 which allows for the expansion of the Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) of the Airport to include the recently annexed property of Dickinson Farms. Ordinance 18-06-044 was also approved which accepts the rezoning for the same area.

With no further business, Council adjourned. The next meeting is set for June 25 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers of the Municipal Building.