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Waterville will cease to exist as a village in the coming weeks, shifting to city status at the end of the month.
James Bagdonas, municipal administrator, told council at its recent meeting that he had been notified by the Ohio Secretary of State's Office about the issuance of a proclamation certifying Waterville's classification as a city.
The proclamation should carry the date of March 30, and it would be effective 30 days after issuance, meaning Waterville would become a city on April 29, he said.
The community's population surged from 4,828 in 2000 to 5,523 in 2010, according to recent census figures. Breaking the 5,000 mark pushed the village into a city.
Few changes related to government would occur, but one would involve the Lucas County Health Department. As a city, Waterville would be a city health district, but instead of hiring a health district staff, Waterville could contract with Lucas County, if that's the direction officials want to take, Mr. Bagdonas said.
Fire Chief Steve Parsons stressed that one change would not take place, squelching speculation that the city status would prompt an immediate change to a full-time fire department to occur at the end of the month.
That's not the case, Chief Parsons said.
Councilman Tim Guzman, during council's meeting last week, asked Chief Parsons how residents could become involved in the fire department, prompting Mr. Parsons to outline the application and training process.
Mr. Guzman then issued a call for volunteers, saying that as firefighters get older and retire and move away, younger people need to step up and sign up as volunteers for the department.
Mr. Guzman said anyone interested in becoming a firefighter should contact Chief Parsons.
Councilman Jim Valtin questioned whether the 33 volunteer and part-time firefighters is a good number, and Councilman John Gouttiere asked if more firefighters would be needed when the U.S. 24 bypass opens and related development occurs.
Chief Parsons said he hopes the number of motor vehicle accidents would decline because there would be fewer motorists going through the community.
He did say the fire department gets a lot of calls to homes, and that number could go up as baby boomers get older and the state works harder to get people to age in their own homes. Because of that, he anticipates a little increase in EMS calls. He said he does not anticipate that new development would increase runs a whole lot.
During the meeting, Police Chief Bob Selders reminded citizens that not only flowers come out this time of the year: thieves looking to steal from unlocked cars come out as well.
The chief said residents should remove valuables from their cars, and should lock their vehicles and shut their garage doors at night.
Thieves are getting into cars and removing items such as GPS units, he said.
The police department also is reminding residents to obey speed laws, and as a visual reminder, the speed trailer will be set up along village streets. Residents who would like to have the speed trailer visit in their neighborhoods in an effort to get motorists to slow down and obey the posted speeds can contact the police department and request the speed trailer to be parked at a certain location.
In other action, council voted to change the maximum number of children permitted in connection with the provision of home-based, child-care services from the current three to the maximum number specified in the Ohio Revised Code for a Type B family day-care home.
Under that definition the maximum would increase to six children with no more than three children under 2 years of age and the provider's own children under 6 years of age must be included in the total count.