It is my honor and privilege as mayor to give the 2018 State of the City. This is required by Ohio Revised Code 733.41 and is given at the first council meeting of the new year.

The administration saw a change with the retiring of City Auditor Tom Jettinghoff. He served the city in that capacity for nearly three decades. City council also saw a change in their members with the resignation of Council Member-At-Large Joe Martz. He served the city in that capacity for 10 years. Council also saw the retirement of Marsha Mueller. She served as council clerk for an astonishing 50 years. A heartfelt thanks goes out to Tom, Joe and Marsha and while their knowledge and expertise will be missed, this is not a time to reminisce about the past, but it is a time to look to the future. Their replacements have large shoes to fill and they need to be proactive in their thoughts and ideas to help catapult our city into the future. I appointed Adam Kayser to serve as interim auditor. Adam brings leadership, education and auditing experience to the city and its residents. The Republican parties of Allen and Van Wert counties appointed Joe Dray as council member-at-large. Joe brings military experience and leadership, as well as a thorough understanding of government operations to the table. Council named Sherryl George as their new council clerk. Sherryl brings over three decades of experience and knowledge to the position. While each brings a unique perspective and lots of experience, the most important attributes Adam, Joe and Sherryl possess is integrity and dedication and they are committed in serving the city and its residents.

The Police Department hired Tyler Hayson as a new full time officer. They also added three auxiliary officers to their roster. They saw the addition of a new 2018 Ford Explorer cruiser to patrol the streets. Despite a tumultuous and difficult year, the police department was very active and excelled in their performance. This past year officers responded to 5,038 calls for service (an increase of 143 in 2017), made 540 separate arrests (an increase of 185 in 2017) and took 901 separate written reports (an increase of 179 in 2017). They also handled 107 traffic accidents (an increase of 11 in 2017). Officers had to deal with countless suicide attempts and drug overdoses. A couple notable events in 2018 were a conviction of two counts of burglary with a three-year prison sentence and the investigation and conviction in the death of an infant. The Police Department participated in “Lights for Life” traffic enforcement blitz. During this campaign, they worked with Ohio State Patrol and numerous surrounding agencies. They also participated in numerous seat belt campaigns, including “Buckle Up Delphos” in conjunction with Allen County Regional Planning, participated in “Click or Ticket” and “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaigns. All officers completed 20 hours of certified professional training. Donations of $5,000 were received and greatly appreciated. They also gave guided tours of the building to several groups, including both Delphos schools.

There was a lot of activity in the Fire Rescue Department, including the hiring of three new full-time firefighters, including Levi Probst, Jon Sickles and Brandon Webb, and adding four new volunteers. All fire rescue staff were sent to numerous trainings throughout the year. Rescue and fire personnel responded to 1,315 calls (1,107 emergency and 208 fire). That’s a slight decrease of 111 total responses in 2017. They responded to 127 calls in Marion Township and 72 calls in Washington Township. They provided mutual aid to other departments a total of 40 times and they requested mutual aid 18 times. There were 16 fire prevention classes in the schools and local businesses and they conducted numerous home inspections for foster care. In 2018, the Fire Rescue Department received $541,000 in grant funding for a new fire engine, Self-Contained Breathing Apparatuses and a new Braun ambulance. The city has also received a new chief’s vehicle. Hydrant flushing and maintenance on the hydrants were also completed in 2018.

The Parks Department continues to improve the facilities in the parks through donations and assistance from volunteers. Over the past several years, many volunteers have donated countless hours to the improvement of our parks and athletic facilities. All is greatly appreciated. The parks system has seen many improvements in 2018. The swimming pool received a new liner in the deep end after the pool season was completed. New benches were added around the park system. The Kiwanis Club was the lead organization for this year’s July 4th event. The festival was a success with nice temperatures and plenty of organized activities in the parks for the two-day event. We had over 21,000 swimmers for the season which opened just after Memorial Day weekend. We closed the pool for the season on Aug. 19 as cooler weather moved in before school began. A big thanks to the pool staff and the management team for their dedication and hard work. Membership and concessions were the best in many years. This was the first full season for the splash pad. Forty-six games were played on the football field this year. We hosted all midget playoff games for 2018. The Delphos Rotary Club continues to sponsor the concert series in the parks on Sundays during the summer months.

Our Maintenance Department saw a change in leadership in 2018, with the addition of Ben Suever as the maintenance supervisor. The department continues to work hard on maintenance of water, sewer and street issues. They repaired several waterline breaks, 13 sewer and catch basins repairs and used 81 tons of cold patch for streets and alleys. They worked on 52 water lines and sewer lines, utilizing the camera 13 times and the Vactor was used on 34 calls. They used over 100 tons of stone for patching alleys and roads. They plowed snow on seven occasions and salted streets 13 times using over 100 tons of salt and brined the streets numerous times using over 3,000 gallons. They repaired 233 feet of new 10-inch sewer on East Seventh Street from Scott Street to Moening Street, 471 feet of new 12-inch sewer on Carolyn Drive north of Seventh Street, 192 feet of new 12-inch sewer on East Seventh Street east of the creek. When time allowed, they also had to do 661 OUPS calls — an increase of 82 in 2017 — repaired 10 water main leaks, three water main valve repairs, nine water service repairs, six meter pit installs and worked towards completing the GIS Program on sewer and water locations throughout the city.

In 2018, the Water Department produced approximately 301,000,000 gallons of water, an increase of 11,000,000 gallons in 2017. The exterior on the two 250,000 gallon clearwells at the water plant were painted. They performed the CPE of the water plant. Water department staff worked with the US EPA, Ohio EPA, as well as private engineering firms to perform a three-day evaluation of the water plant. During this study, every process in the water plant’s current operation was evaluated. Once data was collected and evaluated, optimization procedures for every process was created. This project came at no cost to the city and the amount of knowledge obtained was of great value to all water department staff. A leak survey of the underground water mains in the distribution system was also performed. Aqualine and water department personnel surveyed over 40 miles of water mainlines trying to detect any leaks in our system. The north 300,000 gallon elevated water tower was drained and inspected. The entire exterior was repainted and there were multiple spots on the interior of the tank that were spot coated as well. Water personnel assisted Poggemeyer Design in implementing our new asset management plan, a new requirement by the EPA in 2018. A large part of this plan was to GIS every water service shut off and mainline valve in the city. Staff has completed the main frame of this plan. This will be an ever changing document updated and improved as new data is discovered.

The Waste Water Department filled the assistant superintendent position with Joe Tillison. Joe has more than 16 years of wastewater experience and is going to be a significant benefit to the community and the plant. The staff had a busy 2018 working on continuous improvements at the treatment facility. Kirk Brothers are 95 percent complete with the 2nd phase of the plant improvements. The second membrane train has been install and is currently in operation. The new Rexcor screens have been installed and performing as expected. This improved screening is assisting in better performance of the membranes. The remaining old membranes have been broken down and properly disposed. Significant repairs were made to the influent, eliminating large debris from entering the plant.

Council passed 61 pieces of legislation, has a temporary budget in place for 2019, and will be working to approve a permanent budget by the March 31st deadline. Council and the administration worked together in 2018 to repair over $1.6 million in roads, began the designing and implementation of a five year plan, implemented a Risk Aversion formula for analyzing financial risks, and with the leadership of Council Member Scott Wiltsie, adopted a “per-life” analysis of healthcare expenses to further save taxpayer dollars.

Council and the administration have also worked diligently to position our city to move forward with the hiring of a code enforcement officer in 2019. This officer will help curb the less than desirable properties and assist in making Delphos the beautiful City we all remember. We also worked in 2018, with the Toledo Port Authority in starting the process to create an Energy District within the city. This energy district creation will be implemented and finalized in 2019 and will allow several options to new and existing business owners and help spur the economic developments we so desperately need and want in our city. And, we received approval of grant money for the installation of a dog park. While this will not happen for a couple of years, the process and planning stages are underway. This is yet another asset to our park district and will allow for dog owners and their pets to enjoy a dedicated facility to exercise and spend time in our already great park system.

This council and administration work well together and are 100% committed to the future of our City. Council, Administration and all city employees will continue to work diligently to serve the citizens of Delphos.

I’d like to thank all the city employees, elected officials and volunteers for all of their hard work and dedication to the City of Delphos. City council and city administration look forward to serving the citizens of Delphos in 2019.

Respectfully submitted,

Joshua P. Gillespie

Mayor, City of Delphos, Ohio