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Councilor objects to assessments

June 7, 2011

Wapakoneta 1st Ward Councilor Jim Neumeier

A Wapakoneta City Council member objected to a resolution to pave a section of Hamilton Street because it included the replacement of curbs which are being charged to the property owner.
A second councilor argued the assessments of individual property owners could be brought up later since an ordinance must be passed to assess the owners for the work actually completed, but he wanted the joint project with the Auglaize County Engineer’s Office to repave Hamilton Street from Auglaize Street to Glynwood Road to proceed.
Wapakoneta 1st Ward Councilor Jim Neumeier objected to Hamilton Street property owners between Auglaize Street and the Hamilton Street Bridge being
assessed for curb replacement because he believes the curb is crumbling due to plowing practices by the city.
“I am opposed to the assessments of the curbs,” said Neumeier, who has previously opposed assessing property owners for sidewalk installation, too. “I cannot support this resolution, I will not support this resolution.”
He said since the condition of the curbs resulted from city practices that the city should pay for replacement of the curbs.
Neumeier also objected to a rumor he heard of the sidewalks being widened, if it is true.
Wapakoneta 4th Ward Councilor Dan Graf said he instructed Engineering Department Supervisor Mary Ruck to investigate the possibility of widening the sidewalk on the east side of the street because of the high level of foot traffic to football games at Harmon Field, classes at Wapakoneta Middle School and swimmers to the Wapakoneta WaterPark.
During the meeting, Councilor-at-large Tom Finkelmeier Jr. said he would be willing to discuss with Neumeier exploring better ways to pay for curb and gutter replacement, but he did not want to halt passage of this resolution noting the necessity to move forward with the repaving of Hamilton Street.
“I am open to looking at a better way, but let’s talk about it further as part of a bigger picture and not get caught up with this resolution,” Finkelmeier said. “Let’s bring it up at the next Streets, Alleys and Sidewalks Committee meeting, but when a resolution gets to this point that it is too far along — I don’t want to delay this project and the advantages we gain through a partnership with the county to solve this larger issue.”
The city is paying an estimated $51,000 to repave Hamilton Street from Auglaize Street to the Hamilton Street Bridge. Property owners may be assessed as much as $25,000 for sidewalks, curbs and gutters in that area.
Auglaize County Engineer Doug Reinhart said the county is repaving Hamilton Street from the bridge to Glynwood Road after they install a 30-inch stormwater pipe to replace a 24-inch pipe.
The city is saving money because they are using the same paving contractor for both sections of the street.
The resolution of necessity for the work passed 5-1 with Neumeier objecting. Councilor-at-large Wilbur Wells was absent.

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