No Open Gym – Sunday, February 10, 2019
February 4, 2019
City of Port Clinton Easter Egg Hunt
March 20, 2019

State of the City


State of the City 2018

Mayor Hugh Wheeler, Jr.


Welcome City Council members, citizens of Port Clinton, and the media to the 2018 State of the City address. I would like to thank you all for coming tonight.


First, I must thank all of our city personnel and administrative staff members that made 2018 a successful year.




The Public Safety Department consists of the Police Department & Fire Department.  The Service Department consists of several departmental operations including the Street Department, Utility Department, Waste Water Treatment, Sewer Collection, Water Distribution, Cemeteries, and Parks and Recreation.


Highlights of projects and accomplishments within the Safety & Services, Administrative, Zoning office and various committees include:


  • Director of Public Safety & Service approved 93 Garage Permits, 3 outdoor Café’ permits and 2 Vendor Permits
  • The Architectural Review Board received and took action on 8 applications which led to several other actions.
  • The Planning commission received and approved 6 site plans, received and approved 9 variances, 2 Zoning Map Amendments, 2 Special Use Permits and 2 Administrative Approval Lot Splits
  • The Zoning Department issued 25 Fence Permits, 28 Zoning Permits, 1 Residential handicapped Ramp Permit and 16 Sign Permits.
  • The review and updates distribution of City-wide policy and procedures to all employees
  • The review and updates of existing utility aggregation program which led to council approval and an estimated saving of $25,000 to the City in utility billing over next 5 years.
  • Collective bargaining successful contracts with Teamsters & FOP without need for outside counsel negotiators saving approximated $30,000 or more to the City by conducting negotiations internally. This allow for limited outside costs less than $2,000.00 for a legal compliance review to fair labor standard act and limited other issues.
  • Design and implementation of a “New Resident Informational Brochure” by office staff
  • Streamlined Permit processes to eliminate wait for public in obtaining paying permits
  • Design and execution of an updated, fresh City website, and social media informational campaigns
  • Implementation of social media record retention consistent with Ohio public records laws
  • On-going design and early 2019 mobile app.
  • E filing of problem reports with 95% clearance of reports in 48 hours or less.
  • CPR Training was conducted Citywide for 14 employees in addition to all Police Officers and Fire personnel.
  • Implementation of monthly citywide departmental Safety Training meetings beyond mandatory required trainings for PD, FD and Dept. heads or credentialed employees equaling 564 hours.
  • Sexual harassment awareness training & policy review was initiated and will continue to all employees and elected officials with a completion date no later than March 1, 2019.
  • Successful grant applications for replacement carpet at Sr. Center & 13 planters and trees for downtown area.
  • Wetlands Project funding secured, and contract awarded & ‘walkway design contract awarded
  • Expanded partnerships with Lake Erie Shores & Islands for the acceptance and installation of the “Lake Erie Love” sign at Waterworks Park.






Police Department


In 2018, The Port Clinton Police Department handled 14,923 calls for service:  2,831 offense reports (which, creates an official report), 88 motor vehicle crash calls, 367 adult criminal arrests, 63 juvenile arrests, 256 traffic citations, 116 parking tickets, and 2,070 business/security checks.


Police Department Staffing in 2018: 16 full time police officers including the chief of police, which 2 are detectives, 2 juvenile/school resource officers, and 1 officer was assigned to the Ottawa County Drug Task Force (half of the year) on a part-time basis, 4 part-time (reserve) police officers, 5 full-time dispatchers, which 1 is assigned to the records division, 1 part-time dispatcher, and 19 officers in the Marine Division.


The Police Department hired 3 police officers in 2018;  Officers Devin A. Woods, Amy L. Pugh, and Curtis K. Cochran.   The addition of one position was through approval of council to address rising overtime costs within the department,  one was the result of the continued partnership with the Port Clinton Board of Education and the shared salary  addition of another  school resource officer, James R. Cipiti and the third was to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of an officer.   In addition, Officer Nathan L. Edmonds was promoted to Sergeant filling a vacant sergeant position.


The Department began equipping all the Road Division officers with Naloxone for both community and officer safety to combat the heroin epidemic in 2016.  Our statistics for Naloxone Usage in 2018 is at 38 milligrams being utilized to assist those citizens that have “overdosed” with our officers “reviving” 6 citizens and losing 2 citizens to their addiction, which the Naloxone was administered while at the scene.



Fire Department


Port Clinton Fire Department had another busy year.  There were no Line of Duty Accidents or Injuries during the 2018 calendar year, nor were there any motor vehicle accidents involving any Fire personnel or apparatus.  Since April 2018, the command staff has been participating in a working group with the Mayor, Safety Service Director, Law Director and Auditor actively researching. Implementing and building a complete Advanced Life Support (ALS) Emergency Medical Service for the City of Port Clinton.  This service will replace North Central EMS who informed the City it had elected not to renew their contract with the City.   Many hours have been spent on this project and is on track for full-service operations effective April 1, 2019.


The Fire Department Run totals included:  269 calls to service that are State reported calls to National Fire Incident Response System, 166 calls to service that are non-State reported calls and 51 Inspections; all increases over 2017. (State reported calls include all calls involving property loss or persons.  Non-State reported calls are service calls such as smell of gas, home alarm assistance, low wire calls and such.  These calls are handled by the Chief or command officer of the day with no cost to the department’s budget.)


In 2018, Fire Department personnel contributed a total of approximately 5600 hours of volunteer training hours and approximately 2500 hours of public service hours.  Ordinance 25-18 was adopted by City council on August 28, 2018 increasing the number of firefighters to 55 regular volunteer firefighters from 40; in addition to the Chief.  The increased personnel were in preparation of the anticipated 2019 implementation of the city’s Advanced Life Support Emergency Medical Services.

Personnel changes in 2018 included the new hires of Medic, Kevin Peloquin, EMT Jodi Brown, EMT/ Firefighter Matt Salyers, Medic/Firefighter Randy Racozky,  Medic/Firefighter Dana Brown and the retirement of Bruce Buckingham.


The Port Clinton Fire Department presented to over 550 children from preschool age to 6 grades within our jurisdiction covering all aspects of fire safety. The fire prevention talks also reached multiple adults from groups at Lakeview Estates, Port Clinton Senior Center, civic organizations and Bay Township Crime Watch, Sea Cadets, Girls Scouts, Church groups and Boy Scouts.   In 2018, the Fire Department again hosted the annual Safety Town held in June at the fire station.

In 2018, Fire Department personnel received Specialized Firefighter Training consisting of:

  • Opioid protection for 1st responders
  • CPR and First Aid Certification for all members
  • Hazmat Operations for all members
  • Mass Casualty Response Training for all members
  • EMT Basic Class for new EMS Service

Fire Department Major Purchases in 2018 included three (3) – used ambulances for new EMS SERVICE, EMS Equipment and a Rapid Response Craft for water rescues.  The Port Clinton Firefighter Association made purchases and donation to  the Port Clinton Fire Department consisting of  $14,950.00 for 3000’ of Fire Hose (various diameters) and $10,450.00 for Static Intake Valves for Truck 663.



Street Department


Our Street Department installed 150 tons of asphalt and approximately 88,000 sq. Ft of sealer (reference indicated 22,000 per pallet): repairing potholes sink holes, depressions and included several milled locations.  Installation of new parking spaces and striping were completed on Ash and Cedar Streets.    Street Department crews conducted two city wide cleanups, street sweeping operations twice a week during the Summer and through the Fall, reclamation of property purchased by the City adjacent to city property at 317 W. Perry St.,  continued replacing signs from the city’s west to the east and north to south that were faded and or not at the proper heights.  New Parking limits on North Madison and North Jefferson Street were established.   An active vehicle and facilities care program were initiated in July to facilitate the longevity of equipment and facilities which has assisted in long-range planning of equipment replacement and more structured use and maintenance.  Resurfacing of Fremont Road, Fulton Street and Laurel Avenue.  Working with the City’s Tree Commission our street crews identified several trees for removal and or trimming throughout the City; 8 trees were removed by an outside vendor. Service Department crews removed 15 trees, and countless others.


Parks & Recreation Department


The Parks and Recreation Department while maintaining all the parks and cemeteries mowing, general maintenance and upkeep also had several areas of note including:


  • 2018 brought with it the acquisition of a beach-grooming machine, which was integral to the implementation of a structured beach nourishment program at Lakeview Park Beach. The program includes regular maintenance, cleaning and grooming resulting in record number of users throughout the year.
  • Continued on-going partnerships with stakeholders and our Beautification Committee for all City Parks. Stage 1 site preparation was completed by the Red Horse Squadron of of City Hall Park
  • Renovation of the Jefferson Street Pier Restrooms
  • Continued mulching of flowerbeds and playgrounds with funding courtesy of the Solid Waste Management Grant and City of Port Clinton funds.
  • Maintained ballfields at Waterworks Park and Port Clinton High School for Little League Baseball.
  • Continued Open Gym/Swim at the Port Clinton High School – January thru March
  • Hosted several public and private events including the Senior Picnic in partnership with Ottawa County Senior Resources, the Easter Egg hunt with over 5,000 eggs to children, the Arbor Day event at Lakeview Park, and 1 wedding at Waterworks Park.
  • Over 150 Park reservations included: Lakeview Shelter – 108, Lakeview Canopy – 27, Portage Park – 18, West End – 23, Adams Gazebo – 3
  • Participated in the publishing of the community’s “Guide to Local Activities” in partnership with Magruder Hospital, Port Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Port Clinton City School District.


Cemeteries Department


Within the Cemeteries Department, our crew completed 74 burials in 2018; 43 full-burials, 29 interments of cremains, and 2-crypt interment in the mausoleum.  A new Cemeteries Regulation pamphlet and brochure were created that included a new rate structure and general information.  Our crew placed 21 foundations for grave markers, 6 of which were Veteran markers.  There were 1,140 wreaths placed in the Veteran Circle and Veterans graves as part of the Wreaths across America program during the holidays.  The crew continued the stone border program around the foundations and straightening of head stones – which is an ongoing project into 2019.  They completed two full clean ups and successfully managed the weeds and grass.  Additional  new fence was installed at Lakeview Cemetery through funding courtesy of Friends of the Cemetery and the City of Port Clinton.  New concrete was installed in front of the Mausoleum, and an Eagle Scout Project at Lakeview Cemetery was completed by Eagle Scout, Jayce Kennedy.


Utility Department


In July 2018, a new Utility Department was implemented to foster and facilitate a more structured response to care of aging City infrastructure and to comply with expanding EPA regulations; combining four individuals from the service department specifically trained in water distribution and sewer & storm water collections.  This new department cleaned 20,000 plus feet of sewer lines cleaned, 34 catch basins repaired/replaced, 10 manholes repaired/replaced and repairs of 3 storm laterals in addressing sewer & storm water collections. The Madison Street Alley project in 2018 replaced 300 linear feet of water main and connections for five services.  The department replaced or repaired four hydrants, installed 140 water meters; completed EPA required lead and copper sampling. The department continued the backflow prevention program initiated in 2017 with surveys and installations on City properties.


In 2018, there were 16 water main breaks responded to and repaired. In addition, a Leak Detection Survey found 10 total leaks in the distribution system with four (4) main line leaks and five (5) fire hydrant leaks and one (1) service line leak totaling approximately 113,760 gallons per day of water loss that we immediately located and repaired in a timely fashion reducing unaccounted for loss. In addition, the implementation of the new Utility Department saw the expansion of technical tools for inventory and survey with the expansion of the GIS system with multiple departments collecting and implementing asset management practices Citywide.


Water Office


In 2018, our Water Department welcomed a new employee, Alana Sutherland to our team. New billing software was implemented in March. This was a huge change for us and we had some bumps in the road along the way, but the new software has increased the efficiency of our processes, cleaned up some of our data and is far more user friendly.  The sewer deduct program we offer for the summer outside water usage returned a total of $11,625.28 to our customers that participated in the program. The department certified over $4,500.00 in delinquent bills as a property lien to the Ottawa County Auditor and collected over $21,000.00 from Ottawa County for property liens certified in the past. The city entered into a service agreement in 2018 for the painting and maintenance of the interior and exterior of the water tower, which included an updated paint scheme consistent with the City logo.


Wastewater Treatment Plant


The City of Port Clinton’s Wastewater Treatment Plant which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, operated again in 2018 with no EPA violations. The city’s wastewater treatment plant inspected approximately 1500 feet of sewer line with the camera for various reasons, either as a matter of care and maintenance, or investigating potential or suspected issues within the lines and obtained camera inspections and footage of Jefferson Street in preparation for the water/ sewer project.    The city’s wastewater treatment plant assisted significantly with the Fairfield Inn and Shepard’s Crossing development’s tap and collections system inspections.   Plant personnel were instrumental in the Ascher Beach project with Ottawa County in 2018.  The project is nearing completion with 63 total taps installed and 58 installed and completed; with 2 customers requesting extensions and 3 not yet applied for at the time of this report. The lift station and generator for the project are complete, functioning and in-service.   With main line camera, push camera, smoker, gap-vacs, Vactron, and locating storm sewers and other utilities such as electrical services.  


The city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant treated approximately 937 million gallons of water; an increase of 104 million gallons treated in 2017 and had 43.72 inches of rain as of Dec. 11 and increase of approximately 6 inches from 2017.    Treating 240 million gallons of water with “Actiflo” during wet weather events, an increase of nearly 95million gallons of water treated during wet weather events in 2017.    As of December 18, the city’s wastewater treatment plant had processed 2,214,735 gallons of sludge, an increase of approximately 209,416 gallons treated in 2017. 2,214,735 gallons of sludge, which was reduced to 264.73 dry tons and was 1825.38 tons of sludge taken to the landfill.  


Our Waste Water Treatment Plant Superintendent, Mr. Bacak implemented a new Storm Water (SWPPP) plan for the plant, as well as a phosphorus reduction plan for the plant to comply with the new NPDES permit.  In addition, a new Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) public notification plan to comply with new US EPA rules for CSO discharges.




Special Projects Office


The city’s Special Projects Office provided oversight and coordination of many projects including the completion of the Madison Street Road reconstruction project now into its warranty phase.  $262,500 of loans and grants for the Jefferson Street Water & Sewer Project through the Ohio Publics Works Commission were obtained in 2018.


The Special Projects office worked on the initial design phase of the City’s Coastal Management Access Plan for the waterfront walkway-phase I project and entered into an agreement with Mannik Smith group for design services, which is on going into 2019.  The walkway project and Jefferson St. projects have overlapping areas of need and both vendors are working with Special Projects in design phases jointly in efforts to consolidate costs and repetitive processes that may be able to be combined.  In addition, the office is coordinating the Jet Express Local Public Agency (LPA) project utilizing Ferry Boat Program funding to begin upgrades to their terminal facilities.


The Special Projects office implemented coordinated all scheduled and emergency maintenance plans and needs for City Hall with a plan that is ongoing.



Tax Department


In 2018, the Tax department implemented a new procedure that streamlined the filing of returns; eliminating long lines and providing a more secure, private environment to provide individual services with confidentiality in assisting with the filing of and or completing returns of our customers.  This significantly reduced or eliminated the waiting time for filers who needed assistance with returns.  The department began offering structured, six-month payment plans to assist taxpayers in satisfying tax obligation in a timely manner.  The certification of accounts by the Ohio Attorney General’s office was first full year and saw a collection of approximately $35,000 for 2018. 




Financial Status for the City of Port Clinton are as follows:

Below you should find some overall information in regards to the Financial Status for the City of Port Clinton and the 2018 Fiscal Year, as well as projections for the 2019 Fiscal Year.


General Fund:

  • Revenues equaled a total of $4,129,941.18 for 2018. This was 121.22% of the expected revenue amount of $3,406,850.00. This was also a 18.80% increase from the 2017 Fiscal Year Revenues of $3,476,270.47. Property Taxes were up 0.49% from the 2017 Fiscal Year but Bed Taxes were down 11.10% from the 2017 Fiscal Year.



  • Expenses equaled a total of $3,753,801.86 for 2017. This was 98.29% of the expected expense amount of $3,819,068.23. This was a 6.31% increase from the 2017 Fiscal Year Expenses of $3,530,953.18. The increase of expenses can be attributed to the City’s match portion of the Wetlands Coastal Restoration Project.
  • The Net Profit for the General Fund for 2018 was $376,139.32 compared to the anticipated loss of $412,218.23. This brought the General Fund Carryover Balance to a total of $738,703.19 as of December 31, 2018; compared to a General Fund Carryover Balance of $362,563.87 as of December 31, 2017.


Other Funds:

  • Revenues for all funds equaled a total of $12,106,014.83 for 2018. This was 133.29% of the expected revenue amount of $ 9,082,460.66. This was also a 10.60% increase from the 2017 Fiscal Year Revenues of $10,945,557.21 from all funds.
  • Expenses equaled a total of $10,979,269.08 for all other funds in 2018. This was 99.40% of the expected expense amount of $11,045,272.53. This was a 8.67% increase from the 2017 Fiscal Year Expenses of $10,102,893.88 for all funds.
  • The Net Gain for all other funds was $1,126,745.75 compared to the anticipated loss of ($1,962,811.87). The Carryover Balance for all other funds was $3,099,837.43 as of December 31, 2018; compared to the Carryover Balance for all other funds of $2,388,095.82 as of December 31, 2017.



  • It is anticipated that the General Fund will receive a total of $3,719,400.00 in revenue for the 2019 Fiscal Year. It is also anticipated that the General Fund will have a total of $3,963,753.00 in expenditures. If these figures hold true, it is anticipated that the General Fund with have a Net Loss of $244,353.00; and the Carryover Balance as of December 31, 2019 will be $494,350.19.
  • It is anticipated that all Other Funds will receive a total of $9,058,250.00 in revenue for the 2019 Fiscal Year. It is also anticipated that all Other Funds will have a total of $9,709,132.30 in expenditures. If these figures hold true, it is anticipated that all Other Funds will have a Net Loss of $650,882.30; and the Carryover Balance as of December 31, 2019 for all funds will be $1,737,213.52.