CENTERBURG — The village of Centerburg took steps Monday night to safeguard the village against dilapidated, neglected or damaged structures.
The 4-1 passage of an ordinance adopting the International Property Maintenance Code will allow the village to look into complaints submitted by residents regarding the interior and exterior of homes, businesses and other structures.
The code “provides requirements for continued use and maintenance of plumbing, mechanical, electrical and fire protection systems in existing residential and nonresidential structures. It regulates and governs the conditions and maintenance of all property, buildings and structures, and provides standards for conditions essential to ensure that structures are safe, sanitary and fit for occupation and use.”
According to village solicitor Kyle Stroh, the IPMC will address issues in the village that fall between health department and zoning regulations.
“When we had the issue with boarded windows, we were asking if there was anything that can give us a basis for action. This is a basis for action,” Stroh said.
Council member Diana Stockmaster, who cast the dissenting vote against the ordinance, questioned the due process of the ordinance and who would be required to enforce the code. Councilman Jerry Hess said he also had the same concerns when reading the code.
“We do owe some kind of responsibility to neighboring residents,” said Centerburg Mayor George Shaw. “It does affect everyone’s property value.”
Knox County Commissioner Alan Stockberger addressed council regarding a new contract proposal for sewer services with the Knox County Water and Wastewater Department. The original contract, signed in 1998, expired last year without notice from either party. He said the new contract is just over two pages, considerably smaller than the original, which was over eight pages. The new contract will also allow for the village to perform inspections of the lift stations on Cardan Lane and Croton Road, instead of county employees.
Council agreed to have Stroh look over the proposed contract and bring suggestions or changes to the November meeting.
Under a 2003 council ordinance, the village is required to pay up to 30 percent of a sewer surcharge back to the county. The surcharge is in addition to service costs. In July, Centerburg approved a payment of $2,452.50 to the county for 30 percent of the surcharge. The actual cost to the county was $3,081.39. Stockberger asked council to reconsider paying the $628.89 difference. The overage was a total of 38 percent of the collected surcharge. Council passed a motion to pay the difference.
In other news, council:
•Explained the village was in the midst of conducting an income survey in the village to determine the village’s median income. A list of 250 randomly selected addresses have been compiled for the survey, which includes only two questions. If those appearing on the list are uncomfortable answering the questions, they will be permitted to fill out the paper themselves and give it back to the volunteers conducting the survey. The information is needed in order to acquire grant money for the new wastewater treatment plant.
“The more grant money we get, the less we need in loans and local matches,” said Teri James, village clerk/treasurer.
Anyone interested in volunteering to assist with the survey is encouraged to call village offices at 625-7808. The survey needs to be completed by the end of October.
•Gave a second reading for an ordinance to increase sewer rates.
•Gave a first reading for ordinances to approve 2010 appropriations and compensation.
•Reminded village residents to call in to the village, or stop by village offices, to be placed on the agenda if interested in addressing council about an issue.
The next Centerburg Village Council meeting will be Nov. 2 at 7 p.m.