Leetonia Council backs proposed rental unit ordinance

LEETONIA- Village Council Wednesday night approved the third and final reading of a proposed rental unit registration ordinance.

The ordinance, which will require rental property owners to register their units and tenants with the village, will take effect in 30 days. It will allow for tenants to be cited for zoning violations instead of the property owners.

The ordinance requires rental property owners to register each unit at a $10 fee and name each tenant over the age of 18, as well as the total number of occupants, living in each one. The ordinance also requires each owner to renew registration every year at a $10 fee, open each unit to inspections by the zoning inspector and name a statutory agent to represent the owner for those living out of state. Violations of the ordinance will be punished as a minor misdemeanor offense.

According to Zoning Inspector John Rydarowicz, there are 36 landlords in the village with 59 tenants, 71 outside the village with 130, 10 out-of-state with 13 and two unknown with two.

In other business, council altered the distribution percentage of sewer receipts from 52 percent to 47 toward sewer debt reduction and 46 percent to 51 percent toward sewer operation, with 2 percent continuing to go toward capital improvement.

Also at the meeting, council granted approval for new bike trail maps to be posted at trailheads offering travelers a recommended route through the village. Village Intern Justin Hite reported that he presented the new route to the Columbiana County Parks District as an alternative to the current signs, which he described as “confusing at best,” and received approval from the organization.

Council also agreed to waive associated fees for the Leetonia Community Public Library to erect a permanent sign at the facility and approved the purchase of one set of turnout gear of the fire department for $1,800. Additionally Superintendent of Utilities Butch Donnalley commended the fire department for its efficient use of water while battling two fires last week, causing little disruption to village water operation.

The next regular council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 20 at Village Hall.