CENTERBURG — During Monday’s meeting, business owners Rhonda Seligman and Kristi Layton presented to Centerburg Village Council their concerns with parking, snow removal and dog droppings in village parks.
Seligman, owner of the Scissor Shack, said she was concerned with the number of residents who walk their dogs in the village’s parks and make no attempt to clean up after their pets. She said that when the weather is nice, she sees more and more people eating at the picnic table, and would like to see enforcement, if there is a law on the books.
She also told council the lack of enforcement for the two-hour parking limit along the business district was hurting businesses.
“The small businesses we have really struggle,” she said. “We need to keep these businesses open and accessible.”
She added that following a winter snow, it only is common sense that merchants along Main Street would clean the sidewalks in front of their stores.
“All you need is a shovel and sidewalk salt,” Seligman said. “We all need to work together.”
In response to her points, Mayor George Shaw agreed dog droppings were an issue for him as well.
“I definitely agree with cleaning up after dogs in the parks,” he said. “It’s hard to resolve unless you set up something in the park to try to catch violators.”
Shaw said he has approached people in the parks to see if they had what they would need to clean up after their dogs. More likely than not, he said, those in the parks did have materials necessary to pick up after their pets.
Council agreed that a joint effort between residents and village employees to remind those out with their dogs to clean up after them could go a long way in keeping village parks clean for everyone.
“We want, and like, to see our parks being used and enjoyed,” Shaw said.
Councilman Jack Tucker said he would like to see this enforced all over the village, not just the parks.
Layton, owner of Kristi’s Bakery, had similar concerns as Seligman in regard to two-hour parking. She feels removal of a village-owned building at 27 N. Hartford Ave. would add much-needed parking spaces.
She was also concerned with the way a third-party snow removal company removed snow from the business district.
Shaw told Layton the village was looking into removal of the building and that asbestos inspections are scheduled to take place today.
Parking has been discussed with council members before, and Councilman Jerry Hess said deputy sheriffs working in the village have stepped up parking citations.
“There were 15 citations in February. They are really picking up the pace,” Hess said.
Council approved a water rate increase on an emergency basis. The new prices will go into effect May 1, and users will see a minimum fee change from $10 to $12 every two months for all customers. Customers using more than 2,000 gallons will be charged the $12 fee as well as $6.05 per 1,000 additional gallons of water; that is up from $5.55 per 1,000 gallons.
Councilman Jack Tucker voted against the measure, stating he felt the increase would be an additional burden on the village’s elderly living on a fixed income.
In other news:
•Council unanimously approved the purchase of a back-up generator for the Public Service Building at a cost of $5,199 for the generator and installation.
•Village Administrator Phil Lohmeyer reported 54 applications were received for the village’s utility worker position. Applications are being reviewed and interviews will be conducted.
•Clerk Teri James said the village has been reviewing its cell phone usage policy and will start to collect reimbursement from employees who use village phones for personal phone calls.
•Council unanimously approved the motion to have Village Solicitor Kyle Stroh split the five-acre lot at 4545 Lock Road to sell.
•Council unanimously approved a motion to allow the Central Ohio Joint Fire District to burn the house located at 4625 Lock Road once the home has been cleared of fixtures and items that can be utilized by the village or donated.
The following readings took place:
•A second reading of Ordinance O-09-02A Approve 2008 Codified Ordinances.
•A first reading of a plan for liability insurance.
•A first reading of an ordinance to adopt new FEMA flood plain regulations.
•Council members also discussed ways to recognize Centerburg High School senior Yelena Arishina’s title as Ohio’s Junior Miss.