Mayor Doug Mullenhour
Mayor Doug Mullenhour

It is my honor and privilege, as the Mayor of the City of Delphos, Ohio, to give the 2021 State of the City. This is required by Ohio Revised Code Section 733.41 and is given at the first council meeting of the new year.

I want to begin by thanking the city staff and the city council for their dedicated service to the Delphos community throughout the previous year. 2020 certainly proved to be a year with unique challenges that required the city to adapt to an ever-changing landscape. As we continue to navigate through this ongoing pandemic, I appreciate the efforts of our entire organization to strive to provide the services to the public that we are dedicated to providing.

Throughout a particularly trying year, our city departments exhibited adaptability and resourcefulness to fulfill our commitments to the community.

The Police Department responded to 4,410 separate calls for service in 2020 that resulted in 585 separate written reports, included 77 separate car accidents within the city limits, and 199 separate citations/arrests. Detectives have, or are, investigating 37 felony cases. Additionally, officers responded to 32 domestics and dealt with countless suicide attempts and drug overdoses in the community. During the year, each employee of the Police Department completed in excess of 20 hours of certified professional training. In conjunction with the Ohio State Patrol and numerous surrounding agencies, the Delphos Police Department participated in the “Lights for Life” traffic enforcement campaign in addition to the “Click It or Ticket” and “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaigns. Although community engagement activities were complicated by the circumstances of the year, officers were able to pass out candy in cruisers for trick-or-treat and “goody bags” at the Hometown Christmas. The department is greatly appreciative for the donation received from the Dientsberger Foundation which totaled $5,000.

Though COVID-19 necessitated numerous operational changes, the Fire and Rescue Department logged 1,414 runs in 2020. The annual Fire Prevention programs for the schools were done by video and Zoom to mitigate personnel contact. While fire inspections were down slightly — 6 home inspections for foster care and 4 business inspections — the department was able to conduct 40 CPR classes. With the assistance of a grant from FEMA, the department acquired a turnout gear extractor and dryer designed to rid cancer causing carcinogens from the equipment. During the year, department personnel conducted hydrant flushing and flow monitoring throughout the city. The Fire and Rescue Department is especially grateful for the generous donation of $5,000 that was received from the Dientsberger Foundation.

In the ongoing process of improving operations, the Waste Water Department has evaluated the results of adding new degreasers and odor control to the main sewer trunk lines throughout the city and have determined that the amount of grease buildup in the lift stations has been greatly reduced and the odor complaints have been substantially less when compared to previous years. Additionally, the primary SCADA system at the plant has been updated to allow for more efficient monitoring and trending of the plant’s process controls. The plans for the replacement of the Ricker Street Lift Station have been submitted to the Ohio EPA for approval and it is anticipated that the project will be completed in the first half of 2021. It is also anticipated that 2021 will see the city move forward with the final design and installation of Phase 3 of the WWTP improvements project. This project will bring the plants’ hydraulic capacity up to its original design flows of 3.83 MGD.

Continuing with the theme of improving operations, the Water Department has been partnering with multiple consultants to improve the operations of the water plant through an updated reservoir management and treatment strategy, targeted sampling to optimize algaecide applications at the reservoir, additional in-process monitoring of plant operations to optimize treatment and potentially reduce chemical costs, and, with the assistance of The Ohio State University, monitoring nutrient load in the Little Auglaize river for future watershed management and identifying areas that are contributing to the high nutrient load that we experience in the river. For the year, the Water Department treated approximately 310 MG of water, conducted 245 compliance samples (all of them within OEPA limits), responded to over 800 service calls within the distribution system, completed the lighting upgrade project at the plant, plugged wells 8 and 9, and replaced the media in two Granular Activated Carbon reactors. Also, Harry Hodgson received his OEPA Class 1 Water Treatment License. In addition to numerous, planned facility maintenance projects at the water plant, the department is anticipating moving forward with the Water Tower Replacement Project in 2021.

The approval of the Parks Levy by the community was certainly a bright spot of 2020 and the city is deeply grateful for the community’s support of the Delphos Parks and Recreation Department. While COVID-19 impacted or canceled many events that were planned for the city parks this past year, the Parks and Recreation Department was able to complete several projects in 2020, including the baby pool liner and reinforcements at the swimming pool, a new expansion joint on the west side of the pool, the installation of new sidewalks at Stadium Park back by the canal lock and the completion of the Dog Park at Suever Park. Shortened seasons were experienced at the swimming pool and for the community’s football programs, though approximately 34 football games were hosted this year. The Parks Department continues to improve the city’s parks facilities and is greatly appreciative of the community involvement through donations and countless volunteer hours that are put into our facilities and programs. A special thank you goes out to the Delphos Rotary club who continues to sponsor the concert series in the parks on Sundays in the summertime.

Ben Suever, maintenance superintendent received a Collections 2 license. In addition to addressing the unplanned system projects that surfaced throughout the year, the Maintenance Department was able to complete several planned projects, including: the William Avenue concrete repairs, the installation of nearly 1,000 feet of new sanitary sewer on East Third Street and Wayne Street, and the lining of more than 1,000 feet of sewer on 7th Street and 5th Street. In addition to the completed projects, the 5th Street Waterline Replacement started near the end of the year and will be completed in Spring 2021. For the year, the Maintenance Department responded to 470 OUPS locate requests, applied 285 tons of salt and removed 197 loads of street sweepings from the roadways, preventing 1,438 cubic yards of debris from entering the city’s sewer system (approximately 1,620 tons). Between city personnel and contractors, 6,000 gallons of tar and over 725 tons of asphalt were applied to city roadways. Looking toward 2021, the Maintenance Department is continuing its aggressive sewer cleaning and inspection program, looking to utilize the department’s new valve exercising machine and, in addition to the 2021 Street Maintenance Program, looking forward to the 5th Street Reconstruction Project that is scheduled to begin in late Spring.

As council and administration work towards finalizing the permanent budget for 2021, we are intent on building upon the existing financial management strategy to responsibly serve the City of Delphos. We are looking forward to addressing the needs of the city through the completion of the planned infrastructure improvement projects scheduled for 2021, as well as continuing to refine the Capital Improvement Plan to identify and plan for future infrastructure improvements to benefit the residents and businesses in Delphos.

Again, I would like to thank all of 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 2021.

Respectfully Submitted,

Mayor Douglas Mullenhour