BY MIKE McCARTHY | MIRROR EDITOR — Maumee City Council confirmed the mayoral appointments of three new police officers at its April 25 meeting.
Maumee Police Chief Josh Sprow introduced the three new officers, who are scheduled to begin training this week.
Samuel Rudolph, of Toledo, is a graduate of Perrysburg High School and has earned a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from The University of Toledo.
Gavin Slattman, of Luckey, is a graduate of Eastwood High School and has also earned a BS in criminal justice from The University of Toledo.
Grant Urenovitch, of Whitehouse, is a graduate of Anthony Wayne High School and has earned a BS in criminal justice from Kent State University and a master of science studies in law from Samford University.
The three young men were invited to introduce their family members, friends and loved ones in attendance and were also welcomed by four veteran Maumee police officers who took the time to attend the council meeting to show their support.
Following the family introductions, the three new patrolmen were sworn in by Mayor Richard Carr and then signed documents provided by Lorrie Parry, Maumee’s municipal clerk.
The new police officers were given a nice round of applause by all in attendance as they and their families exited the meeting to tour the nearby Maumee police station and facilities.
Council then proceeded into its Committee of the Whole session with a discussion of items on the consent calendar. Council member Margo Puffenberger requested background information regarding the factors that determine the membership rates for the Maumee community swimming pool.
Maumee city administrator Patrick Burtch said that revenue from the pool is not even close to covering the costs necessary to run the pool each summer. He then invited Jennifer Harkey, the city’s finance director, to offer her insight.
“The pool generates about $60,000 of revenue a year, and the expenditures are about $260,000, so we are not covering the costs currently,” Harkey stated.
Council president Jim MacDonald mentioned that one of the discussions in the Parks and Recreation Committee “was to try to create less of a manpower-type concession stand and research some vending options” to help keep the costs down.
Mayor Carr pointed out that the city’s swimming pool, baseball and softball fields and the Maumee Indoor Theater all operate at an annual financial loss. He added that there isn’t a realistic way in which user fees could fully fund any of them, stressing that their public benefits as recreational facilities far outweigh their financial shortcomings.
Toward the end of the Committee of the Whole meeting, council member Philip Leinbach made a motion to remove an item from the consent calendar and move it to the new business portion of the agenda.
The item concerned a recommendation from the city administrator to purchase a total of 25 Signicade A-frame-style signs from Fastsigns in the amount of $3,590, as well as 50 Coro sign panels measuring 24 by 36 inches for $1,037. The sign panels would be utilized by uptown Maumee businesses so they could alert the public that they are open during the construction phase of the Uptown Streetscape Improvement Plan.
When council member Gabe Barrow asked Leinbach why he wanted to move the item into the new business portion of the meeting, Leinbach said he felt that the uptown businesses should be paying for their own advertising.
He said that he noticed many of the uptown business owners seemed enthusiastic about the Uptown Streetscape Improvement Plan at a meeting held two weeks ago at the Maumee Indoor Theater and attended by approximately 20 to 25 uptown Maumee business owners
“I think it would be appropriate for them to show some of their enthusiasm for this publicly funded project by participating financially themselves for something that is going to support their business,” said Leinbach, “so I thought it would be reasonable for them to pay for their own signs. That’s what I wanted to be able to vote on. A little public/private partnership of sorts.”
“The business community has had a rough couple of years for the most part,” said Carr. “These businesses really struggled during COVID.” The mayor added that the city relaxed the enforcement of the city’s sign code during the past two years to try to help those Maumee business owners who were just hanging on.
Burtch explained that the 25 A-frame-style signs will permanently belong to the city, “so $3,590 of the city’s purchase is to own the signs.”
Burtch went on to say that the 50 panels will cost $1,037 and that is the only portion of the $5,000 purchase that will be used to help the uptown Maumee businesses. He explained, “Because these have slide-in sign faces, we will be able to use the signs for any event we want to in the future.
“The reason I brought this (request) to you is for the same reason the mayor just said. The inconvenience will be massive,” Burtch said emphatically. “Once those sidewalks are out, they’re going to be out for quite a long time.”
Burtch explained that at some point there will be long trenches dug out along Conant Street and it will be very challenging for the affected businesses to communicate to their potential customers that they are open for business during all that upheaval.
These sandwich-board frames with the attached “open for business” panels will be a quick way to let people know that the businesses are open, Burtch said.
Following all discussion on the matter, the mayor called for a vote on the motion and council members Jon Fiscus, Puffenberger and Leinbach voted in favor of moving the item to the new business section of the agenda, while council members Josh Harris, Scott Noonan, Barrow and MacDonald all voted against it, defeating the motion by a 4-3 margin.
Council next voted 7-0 to close the Committee of the Whole meeting and proceeded with the consent calendar portion of the meeting.
During the consent calendar portion of the meeting, council:
• Authorized the city admin-istrator to purchase the previously mentioned 25 signs from Fastsigns.
• Approved Resolution 010-2022 adopting a Storm Water Management Program (SWMP) for the city, authorizing filing with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and declaring an emergency.
• Authorized the purchase of a tandem-axle equipment trailer from Southeastern Equipment Co. Inc. in the amount of $33,055. The trailer will be used to transport various pieces of heavy equipment throughout the city.
• Declared assorted items listed on the Maumee Fire Division’s department report as surplus, authorizing the sale of the items on GovDeals.com or donating the items to an approved organization, and authorizing the city administrator to effectuate said sales.
Among the items to be sold are outdated or replaced items such as Scott air masks; Scott air cylinders; light bars and accessories; fire helmets; Motorola VHF pagers; Scuba suits, air tanks and related equipment; and miscellaneous outdated nozzles, hose appliances, fans and tools.
All of the items on the consent calendar passed unanimously.
In the new business section of the agenda, council:
• Approved Ordinance 026-2022 to amend Section XXII, regarding swimming pool fees, of Ordinance 044-2021, relating to the rates and fees schedule, and declaring an emergency.
Editor’s Note: The next public meeting of Maumee City Council will be held at 6:15 p.m. on Monday, May 2 in council chambers inside the Maumee Municipal Building at 400 Conant St. in uptown Maumee.