Following a report at the June 21 Newcomerstown Village Council meeting, the issue of outdated yard/garage sale signs was brought to council's attention.
According to council member Burris Gardner, he has recently been receiving calls and verbal complaints from various citizens on the matter.
He said the citizens are noticing an increased amount of outdated signs being mounted on utility poles throughout the village. He said the signs were for yard/garage sales that took place weeks or sometimes months ago, yet they are still mounted on the utility poles.
Gardner asked council if there was any ordinance that existed restricting the placement of signs on utility poles. Several council members replied that the placement of yard sale signs on the utility poles has been a "problem for years." They recalled that some of the larger poster board-type signs were a real concern as they were being left on the utility poles by individuals. The signs were reportedly finding their way into the sewer catch drains on the street causing obstruction to the drain system.
"Maybe with the help of the local press, we can get the word out to the community to refrain from placing yard sale signs on the utility poles," Mayor Steve Guy said.
Mayor Guy and council are asking for everyone's cooperation, not just from individuals that are having yard sales, but any event that is being placed on a sign and mounted on the utility poles or being placed into the right of ways (strip of land between the village streets and private residences). Signs should not be mounted (nailed or stapled) onto any of the utility poles. Any signs that are placed on the right of ways should be promptly removed and appropriately disposed of following the event being advertised.
Council added that they were previously aware that AEP (owner of all of the utility poles in the village) has been asking that the community not mount any type of signs or posters on the utility poles due to the utility workers becoming injured from the excessive amounts of nails and staples that are left behind. While AEP has not followed with any known action against violators, council pointed out that action could easily be taken against any individual by checking the address where the sale or event is taking place or has already taken place.
Other business included:
* Safety committee announced that they will be scheduling a meeting on the second Monday of each month, along with Police Chief Gary Holland, to review progress and update information pertaining to the police department. Presently, Chief Holland is working on implementing the Mayor's Court program and working on scheduling for off-peak hours for the police reserves as a way to improve the village's budget. He has also recently identified some items in the department that are no longer in use and could possibly be added to a village auction.
* Council agreed to have Village Solicitor Shawn Lindsey gather information concerning the costs for repair of a slippage of embankment and retaining wall located at a private residence (307 Cross St.). The village voices concern about the slippage as there is a main gas line running along side the embankment.
* An increase in the water rate was passed by the Board of Public Affairs June 17.
* Mayor Guy said the Tuscarawas County Health Department sent a report from the June 10 inspection of the former landfill site. He said the report indicates that erosion of a monitoring well cap was noted. The village will plan to re-seed the area of ground near the monitoring well as an effort to help prevent further erosion.
* Amending the public records policy was tabled from the June 7 session and will remain tabled until the legislative committee has met and reviews the policy again with Police Chief Gary Holland. Council did approve the copying cost for public records.
* First reading was given on village employee reimbursement (for training costs and uniforms).
* Third reading was given for a village employee direct deposit ordinance.
* Council approved the village solicitor to disperse 100 percent of the bed tax to the Newcomerstown Historical Society for tourism improvements to the three local museums.
* Council approved the resolution to adopt the ordinance for the Solid Waste District by July 14.
* Council member Gardner said he has received calls regarding high grass and weeds in the village. The updated ordinance for high grass and weeds permits up to six inches as an acceptable height before a violation occurs. The police department reportedly has a list of properties that are currently maintained by the village. The department will continue to follow up with residents that are noted to be in violation of the ordinance.
Council's next meeting will be July 5 at 7 p.m.