Washingtonville cops asked to list nuisances

WASHINGTONVILLE – Mayor Will Jones requested the police department “to start writing down the house numbers” of the residences violating the village ordinance against “noxious weeds, rank vegetation and litter.”

The law, passed last November, declares it a nuisance for anyone to store, place, or allow to remain on any property used building materials, motor vehicles in inoperable condition or unfit for further use, auto parts, scrap metal, noxious weeds or rank vegetation, refuse, or rubbish.

At the time is was enacted, Jones said the village will be cleaned up.

Violations regarding vegetation will be given five days to have it cut and destroyed while litter violators will be given 15 days from the day of notification to correct the problem.

Failure to comply can lead to the mayor ordering the problem corrected and all expenses incurred by the village, when approved by council, will be paid by the village and a lien placed on the property’s tax duplicate so it can be collected by the village.

Violators will be charged with a minor misdemeanor subject to a fine not exceeding $100 and each subsequent period of 30 days constitutes another separate offense.

Assistant Police Chief Mark Husk said vehicles with no registration and sitting for more than 72 hours, and not covered or under a carport, will have to be moved.

“As long as they have valid plates on it’ll be good,” Husk said and acknowledged it was going to make a lot of people unhappy.

He said there were about a half-dozen residences with junk vehicles.

“It’s just another way to clean up the village,” he said.

“They can’t be in a yard and covered with a tarp.”

The first step, which could occur within two weeks, will be sending certified letters to the residents who will have 10 days to respond.

In other business, Jones asked all the street committee members to inspect the alleys and “let us know which ones are overgrown and need work.”

He said some were maintained and others weren’t and the village may want to consider giving up ownership, an action that Solicitor Michele McBride Simonelli said “had a process.”

She explained it is the responsibility of the village to maintain the alleys and advised against private individuals doing it because “it creates a liability.”

She suggested the committee go through the village and create a list.

Jones said he would like committee members to get back with him ASAP, noting there were about a half-dozen alleys he was concerned about.

Councilman Jim Smith asked about the bike trail that is now inside the village and set to cross state Route 14 from south to north.

Jones said he just received a letter from the Ohio Department of Transportation on Monday regarding an intersection expected to be built at state Route 45 where the bike trail will cross.

In the police report, Husk said the department performed 426 security checks, wrote 57 citations and issued 88 traffic warrants in December while responding to one domestic and the vehicles averaged using 251 gallons of gasoline.

He asked council to consider Jeffrey T. Rober of Boardman for a part-time opening on the force. Rober is a dispatcher with the Leetonia Police Department and Husk said he had no other police experience and liked the fact he had a dispatching background which will help with police duties.

Also, Councilwoman Theresa Allison praised the street department.

“They’ve been doing a real good job … I haven’t has any complaints,” she said.

Jones warned residents against icy roads as a cold spell approaches and to use caution not just while driving.

After Councilwoman Laura Trummer commented about the committee assignments for 2013 and Allison noted there should be “more men on council.”

Council is comprised on one man, Smith, and five women.

After the meeting, Allison said council should be half and half.

Larry Shields can be reached at lshields@salemnews.net