Snow…it is a wintertime fact of life in Northwest Ohio. Some love it, some despise it, but regardless of one or the other, someone has to remove it for the safety of the community. At their regular session meeting of February 9, the Montpelier Village Council did just that, suspending the rules of reading and adopting Ordinance 2181, an ordinance amending Section 351.17 of the Codified Ordinances of the Village pertaining to parking during a snow emergency.
The issue of snow came up during the previous Council meeting, where Mayor Steve Yagelski reminded all property owners about their responsibilities in snow and ice removal from the sidewalks on their properties. It was at that meeting that Ordinance 2181 received its first reading.
On this evening however, a somewhat exasperated Mayor Yagelski, reflecting back beyond the major snow event of January 31 through February 2, noted again that the lighter snows were not being cleaned off the business walks downtown. He saw people slipping; he saw some actually fall, and he himself also slipped. “I think we really need to push this,” Mayor Yagelski said. “If people have enough interest to invest in a building downtown as a so-called secondary investment, then they’ve got enough money to hire somebody to clean the sidewalk.” He continued, “To be honest with you, I’m tired of bringing this up as a reminder to the owners of property here in town. It’s time that they started assuming responsibility of their own investment. I can’t say it enough; we’ve got a rule in place…we’ve got to enforce it.”
The main amendments to the standing ordinance referencing snow emergency parking, as found in Ordinance 2181, deal with snow emergency definitions, as well as the snow designated emergency streets. Under the new statute, a snow emergency is in effect when snowfall is two inches or greater in a single snowfall event. A snow emergency is also declared in effect when a Level Three Snow Emergency is issued by the Williams County Sheriff’s Department. A snow emergency can also be declared by the Montpelier Chief of Police when he believes that weather conditions may interfere with snow removal crews.
Upon the declaration of a snow emergency, no person may park a vehicle on any street which has been declared a snow emergency street. The snow emergency streets, as described by Ordinance 2181, are…
The 100 through 500 blocks of West Main Street
The 100 and 200 blocks of North Jonesville Street
The 100 block of South Jonesville Street
The 100 and 200 blocks of Empire Street
The 200 through 400 blocks of West Washington Street
The 200 through 400 blocks of West Madison Street
The 100 Block of Broad Street
The Village Manager may declare other venues as snow emergency streets, and they will become official effective at the time signs are posted declaring them as such. Once a snow emergency has been declared, all vehicles parked on a public street, other than those designated as snow emergency streets, must be removed from the street for a period of 24 hours after the end of the snow event, in order to allow for crews to clean the streets.
Councilor Dan Willis reported that language for an upcoming Village Ordinance pertaining to the golf cart issue is being worked over by the Safety Committee, noting that they should have something presentable for introduction to Council in the next month or two.
Council agreed to allow the extension of 67.5 hours of carryover 2014 vacation time until June 30, 2015 for Village Director of Finance, Kelly Hephner. Council agreed to an amendment of a prior change order amount for Phase IV of the CSO Project, also agreeing to a new $2,420.79 change order. Council also approved Resolution 1106, allowing for Village Manager Pam Lucas to enter into an agreement with MetaLink Technologies.
Mayor Yagelski announced the formation of a new, hitherto unnamed task force, whose prime function was to advance the growth of the Village of Montpelier. The task force is to be made up of three members from the Chamber of Commerce, members of the ministerial association, the Montpelier Exempted Village Board of Education and the Council. Included in the task force will be Executive Director of the Chamber, the Superintendent of the Montpelier School District, Ms. Lucas and the Mayor, with the first meeting slated for February 21.
Timothy Kays can be reached at