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Seward returning to assist city

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Norwalk Mayor Sue Lesch told city council she has already received resumes for the position of public works director, but the city will continue advertising until Dec. 1.

James Sawyer resigned from the position as Norwalk's public works director unexpectedly last week. Council held an executive session to discuss personnel during Tuesday night's meeting, but did not have any announcement when they returned to open session.

Lesch told council that Ralph Seward, who retired from the city earlier this year, will help coordinate projects until a new public works director is hired.

She also told council that Safety-Service Director Dale Shepherd was unable to attend last night's meeting because he has been admitted to Fisher-Titus Medical Center for medical tests.

Council member Robert Carleton brought the stray cat problem before council again. Lesch said she has met with Ken Stewart, director of the local Humane Society, and he is putting together a proposal for the city.

"He is actively looking to work on this problem," Lesch said. She added that she expects Stewart to bring a proposal to the board within a couple of months.

Council did not pass an emergency ordinance to take part in an Ohio Department of Transportation project to repair U.S. 250 because only six members of council were present and Skip Wilde voted against the move.

Council members Shane Penrose and Steve Euton were unable to attend the meeting and emergency ordinances must have at least six votes to be approved.

Wilde objected to the ordinance because ODOT figures said that the city's portion for the project, which includes the highway from Norwalk to Lorain County, would be $8,800. Only 0.14 mile of the highway is in Norwalk city limits.

ODOT said the city must pay 10 percent of the engineering costs for the project and said the city's portion was $768. Based on that figure, Wilde said, engineering would cost more than $7,000 per mile.

According to the legislation, the city's $8,800 would only be 20 percent of the cost of the project for the city's 0.14 mile of roadway.

Lesch told council that ODOT wanted to move on the project as soon as possible and it will come before council again at the next meeting.

In other business, council:

Learned that Time-Warner Cable is raising rates again by 5 percent. Lesch told council members that the company does have a family package that can save households money, but the company does not advertise the package.

Set a tour of the city's wastewater treatment plant for 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 27 to see improvements.

Approved a payment of $1,550 to Tom Fries for construction inspection for Briarwood Estates.

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