Mingo to shut off half of lights

MINGO JUNCTION – Village Council voted 5-1 Tuesday to shut off one-half of the street lights in the village, but won’t charge residents a $4-per-month fee as earlier proposed.

Councilman Michael Herrick, chairman of the streetlights committee, said about 300 of the 600 streetlights in the village will be turned off. He said council this year appropriated $55,000 for streetlights. The village will have to pay AEP $10,000 for six months for the streetlights that will be turned off, in addition to the approximately $27,500 for the 300 lights to be kept on.

Herrick said the specific lights to be turned off haven’t been finalized, but he said the list has been narrowed down. He said some lights will be turned off in the midsection of streets, with the lights remaining on at intersections.

Residents still will have the option of paying AEP $11 a month to have a light installed on a utility pole outside houses.

Herrick also said the traffic light at the intersection of McLister and Commercial avenues will be turned off and three stops signs will be installed. The blinking lights on the Logan Avenue exit also will be turned off. There are already stop signs at the intersection.

Councilman James Morrocco said there are many unnecessary streetlights throughout the village that immediately can be turned off. He said that would remove the burden of turning off more lights in the neighborhoods throughout the village.

Councilman John Bracone voted against turning half the streetlights off, saying he only wanted 59 lights kept on only at intersections. He said the village’s police and fire departments took a cut in pay to help balance the budget and the additional money saved by turning off more lights could have been given back to the safety force workers.

Councilman John Fabian, who ran the council meeting as council president, voted in favor of turning off half the streetlights but wants the issue of the $4-per-month fee to residents for the streetlights revisited come next year.

“We might not be able to afford $25,000 next year,” he said.

Councilman Chuck Dickey and Mayor Ron DiCarlo were absent from the meeting.

Council also approved an ordinance setting fees for pool and shelter house use.

Nonresidents daily pool fees are: Children under age 3 will be admitted free; ages 3-11, $5; ages 12-17, $7; and age 18 and above, $9. Season pool passes for nonresidents are: Family, $200; adults, $125; students, $75; and senior citizens, $50. Resident family pool passes are $80; $50, adults; $40, students; and $35, senior citizens.

The fee for the hall in the basement of the Municipal Building for residents is $100, and nonresidents will be charged $125. Herrick said a $25 deposit will be refunded if the hall is cleaned up after use.

Shelterhouse fees are: Large shelter, residents, $100, and nonresidents, $200; small shelter, residents, $75, and nonresidents, $175; and bocci shelter, residents, $75, nonresidents, $125.

Also, council approved an ordinance to enter into an agreement with Family and Community Services Inc. of Ravenna to operate the village’s senior center.

Council also approved an increase in the fee to get a permit for demolition work in the village. The fee was only $5.

Councilman Jack Brettell proposed charging $100 for residential demolitions and $200 for commercial. The village also will charge 1 percent of the demolition costs up to $1 million; 1.5 percent from $1 million to $5 million; and 1.75 percent for $5 million and above.

Council’s safety committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, followed by all of council meeting at 6 p.m. to work on finalizing the budget for the year. Village Clerk John Angelica said he wants the budget approved in early February. He said the budget will be balanced but hopes revenue can come in as projected.