Urbana City Council to consider addition to general offenses list


An ordinance aimed at helping clean up a particular nuisance will undergo a third reading and be put to a vote during Urbana City Council’s 7 p.m. meeting today in municipal court chambers.

Under the proposed ordinance, the city’s codified ordinances would be amended to add “outdoor use of furniture” to general offenses under the existing chapter pertaining to health, safety and sanitation.

At a previous council meeting, Community Development Manager Doug Crabill said the ordinance will allow the city to address properties where indoor future is on outdoor porches or in yards. Often, he said, the furniture becomes subject to vermin.

“I wouldn’t say it’s overly abundant, but there are these situations out there,” he said. “Oftentimes it’s furniture that doesn’t get used necessarily, but it’s put on the front porch to make room and it sits. This is just another tool in the toolkit to protect public health, safety and general welfare.”

Crabill added the ordinance will allow the city to deal with mattresses being left outside.

To avoid being in violation and facing a minor misdemeanor charge, Crabill said, there are a few options residents can take when it comes to getting rid of unwanted furniture. He recommended looking into donating the piece of furniture or contacting a trash hauler to inquire about the cost of picking up a large item.

“We are not trying to pick on people, but we need a way to enforce it,” council member Doug Hoffman said. “I think 99 percent of the people in the city would appreciate us getting indoor furniture out of people’s yards.”

In a related issue, council will hear the third reading of an ordinance to amend the city’s codified ordinances to update the penalty for a nuisance violation to be consistent with the Ohio Revised Code.

If approved, the ordinance would increase the city’s maximum penalty for a minor misdemeanor from $50 to $150, which is the maximum fine allowed for such an offense under Ohio Revised Code.

Also during the meeting, council will hear second readings of three resolutions involving the preliminary approval of an agreement between the city and the Ohio Department of Transportation for pavement overlay of the following areas: U.S. Route 36 from Dugan Road to Ludlow Road (scheduled for 2020), U.S. Route 36 from the county line between Champaign and Miami counties to the western corporation limit of Urbana (scheduled for 2017), state Route 29 from the city’s eastern corporation limit to state Route 56, and state Route 54 from Hickory Grove Road to the city’s southern corporation limit near Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witness.

Following the first readings of the resolutions, city Engineer Tyler Bumbalough said there is a chance ODOT could extend the pavement overlay project on state Route 54 to cover the first curve past Kingdom Hall.

Bumbalough stated the police have labeled the curve a safety concern in wet weather due to a lack of traction.

Administration requests

The administration will seek council’s approval on four purchase orders, one of which involves paying Thompson, Dunlap & Heydinger, Ltd. for legal and title work associated with the Q3 JMC property.

The other three items up for approval include:

•A purchase order in the amount of $11,056 to EJP for two 10-inch EZ inline valves for the maintenance of the city’s water system.

• A purchase order to the Champaign County Engineer’s Office in the amount of $7,701.86 for the city’s portion of the Dellinger Road Bridge Project.

•A purchase order in the amount of $2,800 to Henkaline & Associates Inc. for seven review appraisals related to the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Phase 2 Project.

By Joshua Keeran

[email protected]

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.

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