The process for determining which Defiance streets receive repairs was questioned at city council’s meeting Tuesday night.
The city also received recognition for naming the new Clinton Street bridge for Purple Heart recipients, while council was informed of a new utility and tax collection strategy, and learned that the annual fireworks display will return to the Maumee and Auglaize rivers confluence (see related stories on page A1).
Ward 1 Councilman Steve Corbitt asked for clarification — on behalf of a constituent — about the city’s process in determining which city streets are resurfaced.
Administrator Jeff Leonard said consideration begins during the annual budgetary process in August or September, with projects channeled through the city engineer’s office. That department also has an employee on hand with considerable knowledge of each street’s condition.
“It’s based sometimes on funding,” said Leonard, indicating that streets with comprehensive needs — such as sewer separations — are sometimes selected, with grant funds helping as well.
Finance Director John Lehner added that this year’s budget requested $800,000 for street resurfacing, but this was trimmed in half.
At-large Councilman Steve Waxler was puzzled why Kiser Road was recently added to this year’s list, indicating surprise at the impromptu need. This addition has pushed back some paving planned this year.
At-large Councilman Joe Eureste concluded that nothing is “in stone” when it comes to budgets as any changes are “up to us really when it comes to our table.”
In other non-legislative business:
• council approved Mayor Mike McCann’s appointments to the new combined city planning commission and zoning board. They include Steve Graf, Steve Hoffman, Drew Shindler and Emma Kirkpartick. McCann and Leonard are automatic members, along with the next president of the city parks board, who has yet to be named. The planning commission and zoning boards were combined following a charter amendment approved by city voters in November.
• council approved the reappointment of J. Roger Engel and Bart Scott to the city’s nuisance abatement board and the appointment of Pete Lundberg to the body. Only Eureste voted against Lundberg’s appointment. Lundberg replaces Corbitt, who just began his term as the city’s Ward 1 councilman.
• resident Angie Miller, 907 Latty St., asked where residents could lodge complaints concerning nuisances. McCann said he could take such complaints, along with a number of city officials, including Leonard or council members. A nuisance abatement board provides an appeals process for those cited under the city’s nuisance laws.
• McCann explained that the city will not be renting out the gymnasium at the 1918 school building it recently acquired. He said the city does not have anyone to manage the facility. The mayor also welcomed the Defiance Area Chamber of Commerce’s new executive director/CEO, Sarah Tackett.
• council approved a motion appointing Ward 4 Councilman Chris Engel to the job incentive board.
• council passed a motion scheduling a special meeting for 7 p.m. Tuesday in the city service building, 631 Perry St. The two topics are discussion of a settlement with Helms and Sons Excavating, Findlay, on construction of a multi-use path on College Place and legislation allowing a purchase agreement for part of lot 29 in the area known as “Lots Between the Maumee and Auglaize Rivers.”
• Law Director Sean O’Donnell noted that the administration plans to send city resident Ron Posey a get-well card. Posey, who appears regularly at council meetings to present citizen concerns, was hospitalized this past week.
• council met in executive session to discuss imminent court action, the purchase of property and the sale of property.