Toronto focuses on variety of issues

TORONTO – Various issues facing the city were discussed during Monday’s City Council meeting.

Mayor John Geddis told council members the city’s water line replacement project has seen some delays because of the inclement weather. Much of the remaining work includes final paving of city streets where the lines have been replaced, said the mayor.

“We do plan to do some asphalt work (today),” said Geddis.

The mayor also said the city will be cracking down on abandoned properties or residences not meeting required city ordinances on lawn maintenance.

“We’re going to be sending out letters (to some residents) about grass,” said Geddis, adding the city no longer is going to tolerate those who ignore city ordinances on the issue. “We are going to cite these people. If (they) have a lawn mower, they better put some gas in it and get the grass cut.”

Geddis also asked council members to alert the city administration of offenders in their respective wards as well as any abandoned structures. Geddis also said the first day of cleanup week in the city – Monday – proceeded smoothly.

The cleanup event ends Friday.

“It went pretty well,” he said. “We picked up about 80 tires today. We’ll see how it goes the rest of the week.”

The mayor noted the city pool will open May 24, adding some work needed to be done at the city shelterhouse.

While the city now has the deed for the structure housing the former Veterans of Foreign Wars, the next step will be conducting a title search. He added the property is too derelict to be saved and will be demolished once the proper steps are taken.

In other matters:

Geddis said there is a manpower shortage at the city water treatment plant, and the city still is seeking a replacement for Tim Miller, former superintendent. Miller took a job with the Jefferson County Water and Sewer Department. Geddis said the city also is seeking qualified, accredited workers to man the plant.

“It’s not an easy job, but every job has its difficulties,” said the mayor.

Geddis also said the plant had experienced “some problems” lately but was back online.

The next regular City Council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on May 27 due to the Memorial Day holiday.

(Miller can be contacted at mmiller@heraldstaronline.com.)