West Unity Village Council Looks To Raise Fees For Solicitor Permits

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AWARD PRESENTED … Todd Roth, Village Engineer, presents an award to West Unity Mayor Peg Bernath for repair work done on North Parkway Street.

West Unity Village Council took steps at their Thursday, December 13, 2012 regular meeting to raise the fees charged by the village in an effort to regulate the activities of solicitors, canvassers and peddlers within the village limits.

Council held the first reading of Ordinance 2012-15 which raises the License fee to $75 for one day and $200 for one week for all persons hoping to peddle their wares in West Unity. The application fee includes the labor and cost involved in obtaining a background check on the individuals applying for a license. The ordinance also gives the Police Department up to 5 days to complete the background check before the license will be valid for use. Vendors will no longer be able to walk into village hall, pay for their license then immediately begin going door-to-door.
According to the legislation, Council felt the legislation was necessary as a matter of health, safety and welfare for all citizens of the Village. The measure was unanimously passed on first reading.

Council also passed a first reading of an ordinance specifying what animals are allowed within village limits. Village residents will be relieved to know that poisonous snakes, bears, water buffalo and skunks are on the prohibited list. Councilor Dave Chester, tongue-in-cheek, added that he was glad to see that “there wouldn’t be any Wolverines in town anymore.” A system of permits was laid out in the legislation for those pet owners who have any animal listed under the “Domestic Farm Animals” list or who have more than three dogs or three cats. Permits would be issued by the Village Administrator, Ric Beals, taking into consideration such factors as size of property, the nature of the particular area of the applicant’s home, the consent or objection of surrounding residents and the needs and well-being of the community as a whole.

The legislation also prohibits residents from keeping, harboring, maintaining or having in their possession any wild animal or any dangerous animal or any domestic farm animal unless granted a permit. Violations will be considered a minor misdemeanor on the first offense, moving to a fourth degree misdemeanor on each subsequent offense. Owners are also required to keep their animals from destroying or damaging public property and from running loose.

Council passed the revised permanent appropriations for 2012 as well as a change order for the Parkway Street Improvements project.

Village Engineer Todd Roth was present at the meeting to present an award from the Ohio Ready Mix Concrete Association. The group gave out the award to the Village for the work done on North Parkway Street. Roth attended the Northwest Region Seminar meeting and accepted the award. The award which consists of a large photograph of Parkway Street with a small award plaque attached reads, “Northwest Ohio Concrete 2011-2012, Concrete Street/Road Project of the Year, Parkway, West Unity.”

Nick Sanders, representing Republic Services – parent company of Allied Waste, spoke to Council about his company’s curbside recycling program. While most communities that have recycling programs provide small 14 gal. tubs for collecting recyclables, Allied Waste provides 96 gallon carts which they then service using automated trucks. He stated that residents may find that up to 80% of what they are currently putting out as trash is actually recyclable through the new program. Following an extended question and answer period, Council decided to have Sanders work with Village Administrator Beals to bring some numbers along with a proposal for one of the next Council meetings.

Representing the West Unity Lions Club, Jeff Frazier stated that the Lions are interested in purchasing signs to be placed on the new Welcome to West Unity signs on the village outskirts. He requested Council’s permission to go ahead with the project.

Mayor Peg Bernath brought a number of items to Council’s attention. Included in those was a news release from the Ohio Turnpike stating that the road would not be sold or leased. She also informed Council that the West Unity Senior Center had offered half the proceeds of their next Bingo night to be used toward the purchase of an AED for the Kissell Building if the village will pick up the rest of the cost of the device. Total cost for an AED is right around $1,600 according to Beals. “I recommend that we accept their generous offer,” Bernath stated.

Council formally agreed to accept the offer from the Senior Center and in addition decided to go ahead and get one on order rather than wait until the Senior Center holds its event. Council also agreed to a proposal from Mayor Bernath to give each of the village employees 40 Chamber Bucks as their Christmas gift from the village.
Council entered into executive session for discussion of employee compensation.

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