Defiance’s annual fireworks is returning to its location at the rivers confluence indefinitely.
And city officials are about to implement a new policy they hope will help with delinquent utility and income tax collections.
Those were just two topics handled during Defiance City Council’s regular meeting Tuesday when the Veterans of Foreign Wars recognized the city for naming the new Purple Heart Bridge on behalf of wounded veterans (see related story on this page). Council also discussed street repair issues and handled a number of appointments (see related story on page A7).
Mayor Mike McCann announced that the fireworks — put on each year by the Defiance Development and Visitors Bureau (DDVB) — will be returning to the confluence on Friday, July 3. Thereafter, he said the fireworks will be held on the first Friday of each July, no matter what the date.
The fireworks moved in recent years to Diehl Park on the city’s northside, but McCann explained in an interview following council’s meeting Tuesday that the DDVB, event vendors and the city’s safety service personnel prefer to have the fireworks at the confluence.
Also Tuesday, city Finance Director John Lehner informed council that officials will turn over delinquent income tax collections to Credit Adjustments, based in Defiance, around Feb. 1. Lehner told council that a “not insignificant percentage of the amount due” will be included.
Following council’s meeting, he told The Crescent-News the figure would be 35%.
“The finance department and board of control have been working diligently, and for an extended period of time, for Credit Adjustments to hammer out the details of an agreement for the city, particularly utility billing and income tax to use their collection services,” Lehner said. “And we are very close to having a final agreement in place. They’ve got a couple of tweaks to make. I want Mr. (Law Director Sean) O’Donnell to review it, and then I would hope that we might bring an ordinance to you even before the end of this month to approve that agreement.”
Lehner indicated that letters have been sent to delinquent income taxpayers informing them of the upcoming change.
“Any of those folks (and delinquent utility customers) who hear this message ... if they contact the utility billing or the income tax office before that happens, the collection activity will not occur,” explained Lehner. “The fees and commissions that are associated with collection activity will not be charged. It’s in their interest to come forward before Feb 1. And after that all bets are off.”
Lehner told council that the city will be “seeking to be made 100% whole on the delinquent balances that exist” while Credit Adjustments’ fees will be over and above that amount.