WASHINGTONVILLE - Once the village adopts legislation incorporating parts of the Ohio Basic Code dealing with junk and abandoned vehicles, it will have the specific authority to begin removing them.
Assistant Police Chief Mark Husk described a portion of code during Monday's meeting, noting vehicles with no registration and sitting for more than 72 hours, and not covered or under a carport, will have to be moved.
"They can't be in a yard and covered with a tarp," Husk said.
The village legislation has not been passed and Mayor Will Jones they will try to "add it into the ordinance we're trying to pass."
Husk said it has a certified letter notification provision that gives the resident 10 days to cover the vehicle.
He said they were going to get letters "and we're going to take care of it ... it's going to clean up the village."
Solicitor Michele McBride Simonelli said it was also a public health issue.
Council approved the purchase of a 2013 Dodge Charger police cruiser from Columbiana Dodge which Husk said would not need a radar detector since the state provided the village with one through a past enforcement program.
Husk said the difference in price between a 2010 and 2013 cruiser was an increase of about $3,500.
Former Councilwoman Renee Jackson, a meeting guest, asked, "Where's the money coming from?"
The two current department cruisers are 2008 and 2010 models and Jackson said "those are two pretty new cars ..."
She also noted she has seen them outside the village "in Franklin Square" and Husk said that sometimes investigations take them outside the village.
Jackson said she would "take pictures" showing them sitting in a driveway and Jones noted the complaint saying, "How can I fix something if I don't know about it? This is the first I've heard of it."
She said it was the same unit outside the village.
"If we're getting new cars why are they outside?" she asked and McBride Simonelli described a "frolic," doing something they were not supposed to, as opposed to official business.
Jones said, "Thank you for bringing that to my attention and I will follow-up."
McBride Simonelli said, "If you see something, say something."
In legislative matters, council unanimously approved a resolution asking the county commissioners to distribute casino money in the same fashion that Local Government Fund money was distributed; and heard a second reading on control of noxious weeds and litter ordinance.
Councilwoman Laura Trummer said they could add the abandoned cars into it and Jones said that could be done before the third reading.
Council also finalized legislation giving Utilities Superintendent Brian Gudat a 67 cents an hour raise retroactive to Oct. 5.
In other business, a resident disputed the police department's handling of a complaint over a family and personal property issue.
Police said it was a civil issue but during the discussion, in which the resident grew increasingly heated over what he said was a theft, Jones and Husk each said they would address the issue "after the meeting."
Husk said the Mahoning County prosecutor ruled it was a civil issue and McBride Simonelli attempted to cool things off by laying out the police department's function and that it didn't have an obligation to intervene in a "contract (verbal) dispute between you and your brother."
She explained the safety forces "don't have time to be your personal bounty hunter or to do your personal bidding ... it's not their duty."
In other business, Jackson said she wanted it known the village has not signed an oil and gas contract with an oil company.
Pointing to a Sunday story in the Salem News she said it gave the impression the village had signed on with Leetonia Shale LLC.
McBride Simonelli said, "We're not under any contract."
The Leetonia Shale LLC meetings are aimed at pooling smaller tracts of land that have not been placed under lease by oil and gas companies since they are reluctant to lease smaller parcels.
Interested landowners have provided contact information to Leetonia Shale LLC and Washingtonville was said to have signed up, which it hasn't.
Larry Shields can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org