Streets And Sidewalks Committee Discuss Concerns

Managing Editor

Street and Sidewalk Committee members developed a list of concerns they had around town that they wanted to address during its meeting on Monday as a first step to beautify St. Marys.

As members such as First Ward Councilman John Bubp and Third Ward Councilman Jim Christman voiced their concerns regarding unkept vehicles parked in the front lawn of resident’s homes, abandoned buildings and littering, they also had a discussion of the difficulties of enforcing rules regarding those concerns.

Bubp first brought up his concern with residents parking their vehicles in their front yards for hours or even days — not related to loading or unloading purposes.

Director of Public Service and Safety Greg Foxhoven said it is an issue the police department deals with every year at a high volume of complaints.

“This is something the police department has dealt with for decades,” he said to Bubp. “I talked to [St. Marys Police Administrative Assistant] Patti [Hamilton] a few hours ago and to date, she has issued 142 notices of unlicensed or disabled vehicles, 16 of those vehicles were towed and 126 came into compliance in a seven-month period.

“This is something that has worked every week within the city so it is not unusual to do a couple hundred of these a year.”

Bubp then moved the meeting to discuss what ordinances the city has regarding abandoned buildings.

Foxhoven said the city has a dangerous abandoned building ordinance, but the city’s concern are buildings that have not had active utilities for a number of years.

“If a house is in such a condition that no one can live in it, then we should look into it and maybe something needs to change,” he added.

Christman introduced his list of concerns, ranging from overgrown trees and sloppy signage to disconnected TV cables that are hanging on poles.

Lastly, Bubp touched on littering and what the city can do to curb it.

Foxhoven brought up the idea of having city officials chip in as well.

“I also think once a month, if the elected officials want to get together and pick a section of town that needs it, to go out and do it,” Foxhoven said. “We have told people that if they want to pick up trash, we will supply the gloves and the grabbers and we do not expect them to dispose of the trash; let us know and we can do it.

“It really just takes a group that says, ‘once a month, we will go along a fence line and pick up trash,’ and I think that is what it takes.”

The committee will go over its list and come together at a later date to discuss how to handle each issue.