Delivering services in a professional, impartial and cost-effective manner; planning for the long-range development and improvement of the city; being responsive to the individual needs of city residents, with an awareness of all the city’s collective needs.
Operating under the Council/Mayor form of government, the citizens of Wapakoneta elect eight members of council (including the president, three council members-at-large, and four ward council members), a mayor, auditor, treasurer, and law director. “It is the mission of Wapakoneta City government to provide for and promote the general health, safety, and welfare of all residents of the City by delivering services in a professional, impartial, and cost-effective manner and planning for the long-range development and improvement of the City residents, with an awareness of all the City’s collective needs”.
The City’s service responsibilities are administered by a number of different divisions and accounting entities, including police, fire, emergency medical, street maintenance, parks and recreation, engineering (including planning and zoning), electric, water, sewer, storm sewer, and refuse (including recycling), and various support staff, as well as a waste minimization committee and the tree commission. These divisions form the primary administrative unit of the City, responsible to City Council and the Mayor.
The City’s reporting entity has been defined in accordance with principles established by Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 14, “The Financial Reporting Entity”. The reporting entity is composed of the primary government and component units. The primary government consists of all funds, departments, boards, and agencies that are not legally separate from the City. Component units are legally separate organizations that are fiscally dependent on the City or for which the City is financially accountable. There were no component units of the City of Wapakoneta in 2002.
The City, incorporated in 1848, has been situated as a hub for commerce beginning with its history in 1780 as the capital of the Shawnee Native American Nation led by such recognized leaders as Tecumseh, Blue Jacket, and Blackhoof. Through rail service, the City became a center for shipping grain throughout the country. At present, the City of Wapakoneta is highly aggressive in drawing commerce to the area and maintaining many small and mid-sized industries, retail establishments, and antique dealers.
Industrial tool and die companies and machine shops have been a part of Wapakoneta history. In addition, several general contractors are located in the area, as well as food processing plants, and several firms specializing in furniture and decorating. With recycling being a high priority nationwide, Wapakoneta has two industries dedicated to recycling. There are nine industrial/commercial park sites in Wapakoneta alone. All of these activities together have joined to create a rise economically in the past several years, and the City is committed to the continual rise and revitalization of existing resources while always on the lookout for new ways to improve the economy and community.
The City has a sizeable Community Development Block Grant portfolio and currently has five loans which pay the original principal loaned and interest. Interest earned from these loans gives the City a wonderful opportunity for reinvestment in the City as well as an investment in keeping the citizens of Wapakoneta working. The City has made many loans over the years and as these loans are repaid, the size of the fund grows.
The City of Wapakoneta received one of Ohio’s first “Job Ready Sites” grants in January 2007 to develop a 471-acre manufacturing site at the intersection of Interstate I-75 and U.S. 33. This new site is designated as the West Central Ohio Industrial Center. The infrastructure projects included extension of sanitary sewer and 69kv electric lines to the site and construction of a railroad spur from the CSX Mainline Rail onto the site. This site is certified under the Ohio Deparment of Development’s certification standards. In 2012, the City completed all of the infrastructure which expands the usefulness of all the sites. This includes industrial width roadways for the industrial park making it truly shovel ready and being marketed around the world. The West Central Ohio Industrial Center has become one of OHio’s first, and largest, certified green field manufacturing sites. It will put Wapakoneta in the lead of economic development and promotion of our community.
The City hosts many and varied retail and professional businesses, which are of an outstanding quality and demonstrate a commitment to the community. The “downtown” area is comprised of many specialty shops; antiques, toys, flowers, books, furniture and crafts to name a few. With the renovation of our downtown, many offices and apartments round out the tree-lined streets.
The City received the distinct award of Tree City USA for the 25th year and the growth award for the 14th year. In 2008, the City was made aware of the Emerald Ash Bore problem. We have purchased equipment and chemicals to treat this problem and have employees who are certified to treat the trees. This is an ongoing activity and the City takes the maintenance and planting of trees very seriously. The City has purchased equipment to manage and maintain all the trees in the City by keeping an inventory, a description, and the location of all the trees. It is believed that the tree lined streets are just another asset in the beautiful comminity.
The city addresses local issues, enhances economic development, provides optimism, and anticipates potential for its citizens in an effort to keep our future on a path for growth.
Long-Term Financial Planning
Unappropriated General Fund monies carry forward at the end of the year. It has been the tradition for the City to try to use excess monies for reconstruction of streets and the purchase of capital assets schu as fire trucks, ambulance and police cruisers. With the recent increases in insurance rates, gasoline prices, natural gas prices, and utility rates, City Council is carefully trying to balabnce the finances to cover these increases and not forego needed assets and wage increases.
While tradeoffs are sometimes necessary, it is the goal of City Council to limit spending to areas which are essential and will not compromise the services of the City.
City Council has always transferred monies from the General Fund to the Street and Sewer Improvement capital projects fund. In 2012, the available funds, while smaller than the City would like, were used for projects including repaving and maintenance of streets, curbs, and sidewalks. The City has always been able to maximize its available resources and grants and to work with other communities, the County, or the schools and get things done to enhance the community.
There are no statutory requirements or policies on which City Council is to rely to determine the amount of fund balance they want to carry forward from year to year. It has been the tradition of this City to try to appropriate everything necessary to operate an efficient and effective government and provide all necessary services from administration to fire, police, emergency medical and income tax departments.
These goals and traditions for budgeting and spending are carried forward to every fund the City has and every department the City operates. While some things cannot be predicted, City Council and management work closely togethter to determine what each department’s challenges and needs are each year and what each department will need looking forward.
Again in 2012, the City continued to improve its facilities and infrastructure to serve its citizens. The City was awarded Issue I monies for phase two of the East Benton Street reconstruction project. Phase one began in 2009 and included the separation of a combination sewer and the installation of new storm sewer and water line. The street was widened with new curbs and gutters, sidewalks, driveway approaches, and alleyways. Phase two extended this reconstruction from Water Street to the railroad.
The City received a Small Cities Grant for the reconstruction of East Auglaize Street from the railroad to Wood Street. This funding, from the Ohio Department of Transportation, provided for 80 percent of the project costs with the City paying the remaining 20 percent. East Auglaize Street will also benefit from a Transportation Enhancement Grant, also from the Ohio Department of Transportation, for streetscape upgrades. The planning and design for this overall project occurred in 2012 with construction to take place in 2013. Construction is anticipated to take approximately nine months. Overall project cost is estimated at over $2.1 million.
A Scrap Tire Grant, in the amount of $134,500, was used to pave Wentz Street from the park to Middle Street. This project utilized over six hundred tires in the landfill and created a very friendly environmental project. This is the first time the City has used scrap tire materials. A similar project will take place in 2013 for Wentz Street and Douglas Street at a cost of approximately $97,600.
Mechanic Street was repaved along with the replacement of curbs and gutters from the railroad to Blackhoof Street in 2011. In 2012, the remainder of Mechanic Street, from Blackhoof Street to West Auglaize Street was repaved, completing Mechanic Street from end to end. This was part of our 10-year overlay paving program.
In 2011, the City added Progress Drive, a connector road in the West Central Ohio Industrial Park. In 2012, Short Street, also in the industrial park, was widened, paved, and new storm sewer was installed. The entire job ready site now has industrial width roadway.
The annual reclamite program work continued in 2012. Reclamite is an asphalt rejuvenator which promotes and extends the life of the existing asphalt surface. Nine streets were sealed in 2012, extending the life of the streets by approximately five to seven years.
The City received a Safe Routes to School Grant of $433,000 to install sidewalks, ADA curb ramps, and pedestrian signals and to improve safety measures for safe travel to school. The City completed this portion of the project during 2012. For 2013, the City has been awarded another $475,000 to expand this project. Work has started with the design and environmental study with construction to begin in July 2013.
A Community Development Block Grant was awarded to the City for demolition of slum and blighted properties. Four properties have been removed using a combination of the grant resources, revolving loan monies, and City funds.
The City obtained a Moving Ohio Forward grant, in the amount of $40,000, also to be used for demolition purposes. One property has been demolished so far with two more planned for 2013.
A Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan was developed in 2011 requiring a review of plans, permits, and additional inspections. This program continued in 2012 with permits and inspections.
Awards and Acknowledgements
The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the City of Wapakoneta for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) for the year ended December 31, 2011. This was the 22nd consecutive year the the City has achieved this prestigious award. In order to be awarded a Certificate of Achievement, a government unit must publish an easily readable and efficiently organized comprehensive annual financial report. This report must satisfy both generally accepted accounting principals and applicable legal requirements.