SALINEVILLE - The on-going attempt by the Salineville Village Council and Mayor Mary Smith to set up a Magistrate court also called mayor's court in the village has hit another road block.
At Monday's meeting of the Salineville council, Mayor Mary Smith announced that mayor's court has been put on hold again after the council discovered that village code regarding driving while intoxicated, now called OVI, is out of date and needs revised.
Smith also advised that not only does the village code need revised but the village also needs to obtain a magistrate and prosecutor before the court can be fully functional.
The village's current outdated ordinance regarding driving intoxicated indicates the a legal limit of .10 while the state-wide has changed since setting the legal limit at .08.
The village ordinance regarding driving while intoxicated is not the only aspect of village code which needs revision. "My concern is that there are some other ordinances that go hand in hand with this that might require updating as well. Your entire criminal code needs updating; it probably been 10 or 15 years plus since you've updated your code," advised village solicitor Andy Beech when consulted on the matter.
Beech also told the council that village code must comply with state code as well, adding that state code has "changed dramatically" since the village last updated its code.
When asked by council if the issue should just be tabled for a later time, Beech advised that the council look into hiring a company to update the entire village code, adding that doing so can be "a massive project."
Salineville Police Chief Terry McElroy, who was in attendance at Monday's meeting, told the council that it usually cost about $12,000 to have the entire code updated adding that companies that do recodification projects often offer two-year payment plans.
"It's not cheap," confirmed Beech, adding "last time Wellsville had theirs done it was about 10,000 for a complete recodification; that was about five years ago."
Councilman Rick Beadle stated that the village could not afford to overhaul its code at that cost. "If you're going to run a mayor's court or a magistrate court its just the cost of doing business. It would be cost effective and beneficial for the village in the long run," said Beech in response to concerns voiced by council members.
The council agreed to put the task of establishing a mayor's court for the village on hold until the state could be consulted, and funds needed for the initial start up could be raised.
Previous attempts to get the magistrate court up and running were hampered by financial situations and disorderly record keeping by previous village administrations.
In other council business:
*Council and Mayor Mary Smith thanked street supervisor Ralph Ross for a job well done in keeping streets clear during the recent snow storm. "He ran into a lot of obstacles, mainly people parked in alley ways," said Smith who then suggested the council draft an ordinance enforcing a parking ban on village roadways during severe snow storms.
The council contended that doing so could be a complicated process and instead opted to let the police department advise people who park their vehicles in the street to move so snow plowing can proceed.
*Council members were elected to the Volunteer Fire Fighters Dependent Fund Board. Councilmen Rick Beadle, Tom Hayes, and Jim Howdershelt volunteered to be on the board.
* Council passed a motion to adopt an Internal Control Policy for the village police department. The policy dictates how money from drug busts and other forfeited property is to be used. Chief McElroy stated that the money typically goes for training and equipment for the department.
*Bills paid by the village totaled $97,602.92
*Council passed a motion to sign a contract of $350 a month with the village fire department.
*Council will hold a special properties meeting directly before the next village council meeting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 22.
*The following temporary appropriations for the first quarter of 2013 were made by the council: General: $45,000. Street: $19,000. State Highway:$900. Cemetery:$10,000. CDBG Federal Grant: $0 Permissive Motor Vehicle: $3,000. COPS Grant:$0. Fire Levy: $26,500. Police:$0. Mayor's Court Computer Fund:$0 Police Cruiser Fund: $3,000. Cemetery Flow:$0. Water Operating:$0 Sewer Operating $55,000. Sewer Bond Debt Reserve: $55,000. Water Bond Reserve Fund: $73,000. TOTAL: $290,400
* Council voted to approve several new resolutions and ordinances:
-Resolution 001-2013: A resolution requesting the county auditor to certify certain tax valuation information in anticipation of levying a tax in excess of the ten-mill limitation. According to Smith, this would be the first step in approving a 3-mill police levy on the may primary ballot. An emergency measure was taken to put the resolution to vote.
-Ordinance 001-2013: An ordinance appointing legal counsel for the village and its officials in certain matters, and providing compensation therefor. The ordinance essentially renews the contract of current solicitor Andy Beech for one year as legal advisor for the village.
-Ordinance 002-2013: An ordinance authorizing the sale of certain personal property of the village. The ordinance was passed regarding a village owned street sweeper no longer needed by the village. The village has placed an estimated value of $2,500 plus on the street sweeper. Council Jim Howdershelt stated he is against selling it and disagreed with the valuation of the street sweeper saying it was too low. "I think that sweeper is around $8,000 if someone could buy it and use it." Other council member advised Howdershelt that if he knew someone who would bid that much to direct them to bid on the sweeper. Councilmen Zeb Locklear, Tom Hayes, and Jim Howdershelt voted no on a motion to pass the ordinance. The deciding vote was cast by Smith who voted yes approving the ordinance.