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Bluffton Council/School Board

Village Council meeting summary for December 27

End of year comments from departments; Equipment replacement; financial wrapping up; council meeting packet

By Andy Chappell-Dick

Bluffton Council met on Tuesday, December 27, for its final meeting of 2022. The agenda was light on reports but heavy on emergency legislation, most presented by Fiscal Officer Kevin Nickel.  Five of six items dealt with year-end procedural accounting matters, and the sixth was renewing the Village's annual retainer contract with Findlay attorney Elliot Werth. All six passed 5-0. Councillor Phil Talavinia was absent.  

In the only committee report, Councilor Dave Steiner reported on Finance.  The committee had met to review various budgetary matters, and also put together recommendations for equipment purchases. This includes a new $60,000 F-250 pickup truck for the public works department. Village trucks are on a 15-year cycle, so this vehicle would replace a worn out 2008 model.  Also discussed was a new leaf vacuum machine for $95,000. These recommendations were both were approved 5-0.

Village Administrator Jesse Blackburn reported that work progressed rapidly in the week before Christmas on the Lawn Avenue waterline replacement.  With the stone quarry closed this week, there won't be much happening on this project until the new year.

Zoning Hearing to consider conversion of church into apartments

Applicants Ryan and Jessica Meyer are asking the Village of Bluffton for permissions to convert the former True Word Tabernacle church at 104 East Elm St. into a multiple apartment facility. Allen County Assessor's records show the 9,844 square foot building was constructed in 1920 and renovated in 2004.

Notice is hereby given of a Public Hearing before the Bluffton Board of Zoning and Building Appeals on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, at 7:00 pm in the third-floor Community Room at the Bluffton Town Hall located at 154 North Main Street, Bluffton, Ohio. The purpose of the meeting is to consider the following:

The property owner of 104 East Elm St. located in a C-I Commercial District, is requesting to convert the existing building into 8 apartment units.  The hearing is to consider both the approval of a conditional use for this property along with approved variance from the following Chapters and Sections of Village Code:

Chapter 153.142 Conditional Uses with Approval by the Village Board of Zoning and Building Appeals after a Public Hearing. (A). Single-, two-, three- and multi-family residential structures.  


Council member's 2022 highlights for the Village of Bluffton

On December 12 Bluffton Council member Joe Sehlhorst provided the following highlights for Village of Bluffton activities in 2022. He notes that these are highlights rather than a comprehensive list. His goal was to keep it to two printed pages.


Ottawa water rate for 2023: $3.02 per CCF; (2022: $2.62, 2021: $2.44, 2020: $2.06)

Year 2021 - Top 15 water users for 2021: SumiRiko (10x higher), GROB (2, 9 Caf.), Mennonite Memorial Home, Bluffton U. (4,8,11,13,14), Riley View Apt., Bluffton Hospital, Vance St. apts., Comfort Inn, A&B Car Wash, Alpine Village. (Jan. Council Report).

Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce-Jim Enneking thanks council, safety services, and cultural affairs for a successful Blaze of Lights. New entertainment zone on Vine St. (Beer and Bourbon, food, and tent) called Blaze after Lighting.

Village enters 3-year Allen County dispatch service for Police, Fire, and EMS. Cost is $55,600 Yr. 1, (1 ½% increase) Yr. 2 $56,442; Yr. 3 $57,289. 

Officer Rayle to participate in Police Unity Bicycle Ride from NJ to Washington DC and meet up with officers to honor fallen officers. Bluffton Police Force to represent Officer Dominic Francis. 

Apollo Board will honor Brad Fruchey for 15 years of service

On Monday, December 19, the Apollo Career Center Board of Education will meet at 7:00 p.m. for a regular meeting.

The agenda includes a resolution honoring Brad Fruchey of Bluffton for 15 years of service.

Under “new and recommended matters” the board will vote on 

Hiring substitute teachers Karen Follrod and Alexis Nagel, supplemental contracts for craft shows to Hailey Diana and Courtney Meyers, and hiring teaching assistant Timothy Alger.

Purchasing a Lucina Patient Simulator, cost $86.8K.

Bluffton Schools principal reports, December 2022

At the Monday, December 12 meeting of the Bluffton Board of Education, all items on the agenda were approved and the following reports were made by the elementary, middle, and high school principals.

Bluffton Elementary report by Elementary Principal Ben Thiel (a.k.a. Mr. T):

Village of Bluffton public meetings, Dec. 20 and 27

The Village of Bluffton has announced the following public meetings. Note that the council meeting has been moved to Tuesday following the holiday weekend.

Finance Committee - Tuesday, December 20 at 11:00 a.m.

Council Meeting - Tuesday, December 27 at 7:00 p.m.