STEUBENVILLE - Declaring "enough is enough," 2nd Ward Councilman Rick Perkins said Tuesday that property owners will face criminal court fines and be required to pay restitution for city employees to clean litter and trash from private properties.
Perkins said a city sanitation crew worked several hours Saturday cleaning a lot on Pleasant Heights, "that has been turned into an illegal dump site."
Perkins made his comments during the regular City Council meeting.
Time to keep things clean.
"I hear a lot that the city doesn't do enough. But we haven't even scratched the surface of trash and illegal dumping in our city. People simply don't have pride in our community," Perkins said.
Streets and Sanitation Superintendent Bob Baird said the sanitation crew worked overtime Saturday and removed approximately 12 tons of garbage from the Pleasant Heights lot and several garages on LaBelle.
"We have talked to the municipal court, and from now on when our crews have to clean up a private property site we are going to cite the property owner. The owner will face court fines and will also be required to pay restitution to the city," said Perkins.
"We have also called constituents calling about garbage left behind after sanitation crews made their collections. The problem is the person was moving out of his house and left 15 bags of garbage out for collection, boxes of trash and a couch. We have an eight-bag limit in the city," explained Perkins.
"I am asking for our law director to start looking at sanitation laws in other Ohio communities. I think we have been very accommodating, but residents and property owners who want to put out extra bags of garbage will have to pay an extra fee," Perkins said.
Council also heard a debate between Royal Mayo of the Steubenville Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Teresa DiCarlantonio, president of the Hilltop Community Development Corp.
Mayo cited the recent arrest of Carl Covey of Oakmont Avenue who was cited by City Police for discharging a firearm in the city and aggravated menacing.
Covey told police he fired a gun into the air because he believed someone was dumping garbage onto his property.
"This man was freed on a $500 bond because the arresting officer made that decision. We have young black men who have been arrested for firing a gun and they have gone to prison. There needs to be one set of rules for everyone, not one for young blacks and another one for everyone else," said Mayo.
"Mr. Covey did not shoot at anyone. He shot into the air because he could no longer tolerate garbage being dumped onto his property. He is a veteran of this country and doesn't deserve any more of this nonsense," responded DiCarlantonio.
In other business Tuesday, council unanimously approved a one-year conditional use application from Dirty Vagabond Ministries to operate a teen center at the former Iggy's Pizza shop in the Pleasant Heights neighborhood.
Urban Underground Administrator Joey Lombardi said he will immediately ask city inspectors to look at the Lawson Avenue building to determine what must be done to bring the structure up to code requirements.
Council also approved a rezoning request from Gloria Young who wants to convert the former First Congregational Church on Lawson Avenue into a private residence.
Plans to vacate a 15-foot alley between Lincoln and Wilson avenues was approved without comment.
And council approved the hiring of Gelety Enterprises for professional services related to workers' compensation services.
A second reading was heard during the meeting for the vacation of the Hollywood Access Drive located adjacent to Hollywood Boulevard.
Vacating the access road was requested by a private developer who plans to purchase three adjoining properties and construct a new CVS Pharmacy store at the corner of Sunset and Hollywood Boulevard.
City Manager Cathy Davison met with council during a utility committee session to review a draft of a revised city water policy.
Davison also told council the city's consulting engineer has indicated the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is prepared to negotiate a final closure of the city's former landfill.
"We have been talking to the Apex Landfill about obtaining soil to cover the landfill site. We are also talking to organizations about the possibility of a solid waste transfer station in the city that could generate funds to be used for the closing of the landfill," Davison reported.
And Davison said T-Mobile has requested an agreement to put a cellular antennae on the Maryland Avenue water tower.
"They are prepared to pay $1,400 a month for a five-year contract with an additional five-year option. We are prepared to bring that agreement in the form of an ordinance at next week's sunshine meeting," said Davison.
(Gossett can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)