Diapers on horses -- that's one of the main topics of discussion at the Newcomerstown Village Council meeting May 7.
Residents have prompted village council to take action on the matter saying that the feces left behind is collecting flies and other insects. They are concerned about the health hazards from the feces. Not only are residents complaining but also are local businesses.
Councilman Jim Carr talked with Sugarcreek officials, who have enacted a similar law, and they have no or little any problems with manure left behind from the horses.
The "diapers" or containers used to collect the animal's waste would be attached to the horse's harness and it would collect any droppings. However, the proposed legislation would also allow the horse's owner to use a shovel or broom to clean the area, rather than using the "diaper."
"I think it's in the best interest that council does something and acts on it," Carr said."I'm ready to go with this already."
Carr urged councilmembers to look over the proposed legislation and take action on it at the next meeting, Monday, May 21 at 7 p.m. at the civic center.
As far as consequences to those violating the proposed ordinance, Newcomerstown Police Chief Gary Holland said the police department would first issue warnings to violators (or the horse's owner) and then issue citations.
In other business, discussion was tabled on the proposed cemetery levy for Newcomerstown cemeteries. The suggested levy would be 1-1/2 mills for five years and would generate an approximate $70,000 a year. However, the proposed levy was sent to the Finance Committee for review. If approved, voters could see the levy on the November general election ballot. This is all in an effort to decrease the deficit in the cemetery fund.
Council also discussed taxicabs in the village. New legislation was presented to village council that would change the taxicab license fee from $10 to $50, as well as changing the amount of insurance that is required for taxicabs to have for transporting paying customers from one place to another. Council will look over the proposed ordinance and discuss it at the next meeting.
In other business, Chief Holland asked council to purchase a wireless Internet card for the new license plate reader that is used to identify stolen vehicles. The card would cost $39.95 a month. Chief Holland suggested that the money used to pay for the card could come from the Newcomerstown Moose Lodge's donation. However, council voted to table the matter until the Finance Committee can look into it.
Council also voted to allow the Victory Assembly of God to use the handicap stencil for a parking spot in the alley next to the church.
The Newcomerstown Recreation Board hired eight lifeguards for the Cy Young Pool.
Residents are also being reminded that they are not allowed to "blow" grass clippings into the street because it blocks the storm sewer. Citations could be issued.