Stryker Village Sidewalk Ordinances Remain Same, Water Rates Could See Increase

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Stryker High School students Tori Suffell and Kiera Grandey observed Monday evening’s Council meeting as part of their assignment in Mrs. Jimenez’ government class.

It’s unfortunate, but with all the fuss and fight, Stryker Mayor Dan Hughes delivered the news to council that in correspondence from the Village Solicitor, as presented by the Judiciary committee, to amend the current ordinance to allow the businesses to display and sell merchandise on the sidewalks, the Village cannot legally redefine the meaning of “sidewalk” and its usage.

As stated in a statement read by Mayor Hughes, the council cannot change definitions implied to State of Ohio right of way (downtown), which has been the area in dispute for an extended period of time.

However, the council can amend ordinances that apply to sidewalks within the Village right of way. As recommended by the solicitor, any ordinance to be amended should take extreme caution as to not jeopardize insurance coverage for liability purposes. It was also stated the solicitor feels it is not in the Villages’ best interest to amend the ordinance.

Within the past few months, several area business men and women have approached council to allow them to display merchandise on the sidewalks in front of their businesses. In those discussions, liability has reared its ugly head and raised several questions.

• If a patron were to get hurt on the sidewalk..who is liable?
• What, if anything, can be displayed?
• If sales are not allowed on sidewalks, why are newspaper boxes allowed to be on the sidewalk for sale?
Seemingly council had been divided as to allow or not allow business owners to display merchandise for sale.

Unless an ordinance is amended, or special permits are allowed, no one will be allowed to sell on the sidewalks.

Village residents could see a small increase in their water bill if a requested ordinance should pass. A change of $2 per 1,000 gallons would increase to $4. To help offset this in the next few years to come, sewer rates could be cut in half.

The Village has not seen a rate increase in the past 17 years and could aid in the village water budget.

Council did not suspend the read rules, which would require three readings of the proposed ordinance to allow village residents a chance to discuss the matter at the next few council meetings.
It is not yet determined when the rate change would take effect.

In other news:
• Village officials, village employees and the police department have decided to contribute to the village budget and take responsibility for their own cell phones and rate plans. This could save the Village over $4,000 annually. Council agreed to allow an option to purchase their current cell phone at a reasonable cost instead of those persons buying a new one
• Leaf pickup is complete
• Police cars have new license plates: #677 will replace the 1-800-GRABDUI plates. The new speed dial number will dispatch directly to “The Hub”, an office coordinated with the OSHP. Persons should still dial 911 in the event of an emergency and imminent danger

The next Village Council meeting will take place on January 14th at 6:00 in the Village Hall.

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