WASHINGTONVILLE - With a new noxious weeds, rank vegetation and litter ordinance passed during the last meeting, Assistant Police chief Mark Husk suggested at Monday's meeting that officers can check residences not in compliance while on patrol.
The law 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.
Mayor Will Jones had previously said the village will be cleaned up and agreed that if officers see vehicles out there without registration, they can take down the information.
Solicitor Michele McBride Simonelli suggested that the police keep a signed copy of the ordinance at the station.
"You might get some blow back on it, " she said.
Jones said the evening shift could "start off with the worst ones."
Councilwoman Theresa Allison wondered about the tall grass, but Jones said it was done growing.
The ordinance says property must be kept "free and clear" of noxious weeds and rank vegetation and it will be cut "at least three times every year, once between May 1 and June 1; once between June 1 and July 1; and once between August 1 and September 1."
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 of not more than $100 with each continuing day in violation considered a separate offense.
In other business, Husk asked residents who go away from their residence for a couple days or weeks to advised the department so it can place extra patrols in the area.
He asked that residents provide and emergency contact phone number by either calling or stopping at the department.
Husk also said the department is at 10 part-time officers and is looking to fill two recent vacancies. Candidates must be certified by the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy and Husk said they want to bring the department up to12 members by the first of the year.
Officers complete a 90 day probation period and hire-in at $9 per hour.
People interested can send a letter to the Washingtonville Police Department, 415 S. County Road, Washingtonville, OH 44490 or call 330-427-0333 or drop off resumes in the water bill drop box.
In other business, council approved a three-percent raises for Simonelli and Fiscal Officer Dale Davis beginning with the December pay period.
Simonelli currently earns $585 a month and Davis makes $565 a month. The last pay increase for the positions was about eight years ago.
The vote was 5-0 with Councilwoman Ramona Custer absent.
Larry Shields can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org