The City of Delphos continues to be very careful with our spending, as we continue to see cuts in Local Government Funding and new laws coming from the state which affect our finances.
The mayoral seat saw several changes throughout 2017, beginning with the resignation of Mayor Michael Gallmeier in June due to health issues. Council President Daniel Hirn assumed the role of mayor until his resignation in July, as he moved out of the area. Council member and Council President Pro-Tem Mark Clement took over as mayor in August until the Democratic Party named John Parent as mayor for the city until the general election in November. The general election was won by council member Josh Gillespie, who was sworn into office in December. A sincere thank you goes out to Mayor Gallmeier for his years of service and dedication to the city and its residents. God bless him, and many prayers go out to him and his family.
The police department hired three new full-time officers: Garrett Rohr, Sean Osting and Curtiss Gillespie. They saw the addition of a new 2017 Ford Interceptor cruiser to patrol the streets. This past year officers responded to 4,895 calls for service, made 355 separate arrests and took 722 separate written reports. They also handled 96 traffic accidents. They had a successful murder trial with a lifetime conviction.
The police department participated in “Lights for Life” traffic enforcement blitz, and Officer Kevin Klaus led a three-day DARE Camp in June. They participated in numerous seat belt campaigns, including “Buckle Up Delphos” in conjunction with Allen County Regional Planning, participated in “Click It or Ticket,” and “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaigns.
All officers completed 20 hours of certified professional training. Donations of over $14,000 were received and greatly appreciated. They also gave guided tours of the building to groups from both Delphos schools.
It was a productive year in the fire department. Rescue and fire runs have increased from 1,422 in 2016 to 1,521 in 2017. Grant funding for the fire department has reached over $1 million since 2013. We received a new 2017 Sutphen Engine in August, replacing a 1983 Ford Boyer. We received $381,905 in grant money for this apparatus. We will take possession of a new Braun ambulance in March 2018, half of which ($100,000) is paid for with a state grant. We received a new chief’s vehicle, a 2018 Ford Interceptor, replacing a 1997 GMC Yukon.
There were eight fire prevention classes in the schools. All city employees received CPR training, along with over 40 CPR classes given to the community. Twelve extinguisher classes were given to required businesses. Blood pressure checks were held every other Tuesday at the Delphos Senior Citizens Center.
The fire department also held its first “Fire Prevention Friday.” The department received a score of 10 out of 12 for readiness and preparation by the State of Ohio and by both Allen and Van Wert County EMA offices for a large mock event held at Airgas and Production Services.
The parks department continues to improve the facilities in the parks through donations and volunteers. Over the past couple of years, many volunteers have donated countless hours to the improvement of our parks and athletic facilities; all is greatly appreciated.
Several improvements were made to the municipal swimming pool, including a new splash pad with features for kids, pool benches and poured concrete pads with benches and chairs. The Kiwanis Club took the lead in this project. The city received $122,500 in capital funds from the State of Ohio to help purchase the features for the splash pad.
Festivities for the July 4th celebration were also led by the Kiwanis Club. This year’s festival was a success with nice temperatures and plenty of organized activities in the parks for the two-day event.
We had over 19,000 swimmers for the season, which opened just after Memorial Day weekend. We closed the pool for the season on Aug. 20 as cooler weather moved in. A big thanks to the pool staff and the management team for their dedication and hard work.
Numerous new events took place this year even though temperatures were warmer this year compared to past years. Fifty-one football games were played on the field this year. We hosted a varsity football playoff game and all of the playoff games for the midget football teams.
The Delphos Rotary Club continues to sponsor the concert series in the parks on Sundays in the summer.
Our maintenance department had two new employees in 2017: Cory Osting and Kody White. The department continues to work hard on maintenance of water, sewer and street issues. They repaired several waterline breaks and 13 sewer and catch basins and used 5,413 gallons of tar and 33.63 tons of cold patch for streets and alleys. They worked on numerous water lines and sewer lines, too many to list. They used more than 150 tons of stone for patching alleys and roads.
They plowed snow on three occasions and salted streets 14 times using over 100 tons of salt and brined the streets four times using over 1,600 gallons of brine.
They had newly-paved streets, including: Annex Drive, portions of Main Street, Franklin Street, Canal Street, Washington Street and Adams Street. When time allowed, they also had to do 579 OUPS calls, respond to over 100 service calls to citizens, replaced 39 traffic lights, changed 27 street lights on Main Street and painted crosswalks.
In 2017, the Water Department produced approximately 290 million gallons of water. They hired one new employee, Adam Kroeger. They replaced three VFD’s this year. They shoveled, by hand, approximately 15 tons of soda ash out of the tower because the product was old and plugged the feeder.
The department pulled 96 compliance bacteria samples, treated the reservoir five times to control algae, repaired the rake on our north clarifier, drained and cleaned both north and south clarifiers, pulled 20 lead and copper samples, closed the meter project with Neco, and they continue to replace commercial meters as funding allows.
They also drained the CO2 tank and changed the two diffusers, pulled weekly algae samples at the reservoir and received an award for the Best Dam in Ohio. They were nominated for this by the ODNR after the inspection of the reservoir.
The wastewater department continued to work on the pilot testing of the Fibercast membranes. During 2017, staff continued to optimize both the performance and the required recovery processes needed to maintain proper operations. Staff utilized the 500-750 Micron progressive screening system. This system was put into place to remove material that has been passing through or around the existing screening system. It has been determined these solids attributed to aeration and filterability issues.
During 2017, the city has moved forward, awarding the contract to Kirk Brothers Contracting for the installation of the two full-scale screening systems at the plant’s Headworks building, also known as Phase II. Plant staff has installed new pumps at the south park lift station. The station provides pumping for several residential users on the South side of the city. The station should continue to provide those users with adequate service for the next several years.
Repairs were made to the North Street interceptor sewer; the manholes located in the field were leaking water during high-flow events. The manhole covers and lids have been sealed to prevent this from occurring again.
We continued to move forward with the Fibercast membrane installation, awarding the contract to Kirk Brothers Construction. This includes but is not limited to the installation of a new permeate pump, piping material, concrete and controls needed for proper operations. The completion date of phase II is set for mid-June of 2018.
City council also saw changes in their members: After Dan Hirn resigned from his seat as council president, Nichole Coil was appointed to the seat. Del Kemper finished out his term at Second Ward Council seat, being replaced by Jeff Klausing in 2018. In December, Scott Wiltsie was appointed by the Allen and Van Wert County Republican Committee to fill a vacant Council-at-Large position.
Council has passed 56 pieces of legislation, has a temporary budget in place for 2018 and work to approve a permanent budget by the March 31 deadline. Council and the administration will work together to serve the citizens of Delphos.
I’d like to thank all the city employees and elected officials for all of their hard work and dedication to the City of Delphos. We look forward to serving the citizens of Delphos in 2018.