Village expands its definition of criminal mischief


MECHANICSBURG – A modification to the criminal mischief section of the village’s general offense code was approved by Village Council on Monday, as was a request for a change of venue for the local farmers market.

Village Council’s decision to alter its general offense code stems from an ongoing incident brought to its attention back in August by resident Nancy Rhodes, 168 E. Race St., who expressed her concerns over a basketball hoop being placed adjacent to the street, inviting area youth to play in the roadway.

Rhodes said not only has her car been damaged by flying basketballs, but she also fears for the safety of the children playing in the street. Having no luck convincing the owner of the basketball hoop to remove it from the curb area, Rhodes turned to council to see if anything could be done.

Council agreed the village needed to have proper legislation on the books in order to address situations like the issue at hand, so on Monday, following a third and final reading, council approved an ordinance modifying the language under the criminal mischief section of the Mechanicsburg General Offense Code.

The newly adopted language, which will take effect in December, reads: “No person shall knowingly create a situation facilitating criminal damage by others, where property damage actually occurs.”

Anyone found to be in violation of the criminal mischief section faces a third degree misdemeanor. Violators not only face a fine as determined by law, but they are also liable for any property damage that occurs as a direct result of their criminal mischief.

Farmers land new summer gathering spot

Lucinda Eddleman, manager of the Mechanicsburg Rustic Roadside Farmers’ Market, approached council in search of a new home for the event in 2017.

According to Eddleman, the farmers market has lost several vendors over the past few years due to its location near the mill on South Main Street. She cited concerns stem from “loud” traffic to “dusty” air.

In an attempt to find a more appropriate setting for a farmers market, Eddleman asked council for permission to use the village-owned lot located beside the municipal building on North Main Street.

“(The location) would just be absolutely perfect,” she said. “I think it would bring more people from town to the farmers market.”

Citing the move as a way of possibly bringing more foot traffic into the downtown area, council agreed to allow the use of the lot by the farmers market every Tuesday in May, June and July.

Village in search of new water operator

Former village water operator Kermit Frazier Jr. has resigned from the position, effective Nov. 5, Village Administrator April Huggins-Davis said.

Council was informed Frazier accepted a position in Kentucky, but prior to leaving, filed the October report.

“It’s a good opportunity for him,” Huggins-Davis said. “It’s where he wanted to retire to, and that’s where his family is from. He will do well wherever he is.”

To make sure the village remains compliant with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Huggins-Davis said the village has begun the interview process and expects to hire a new water operator by the end of the week.

In other business:

•A public hearing to discuss the downtown overlay will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 5, at the municipal building.

•Assistant Fire Chief/EMS Chief Steve Castle informed council Mechanicsburg Fire & EMS was selected as the “Department of the Month” for November by the Greater Miami Valley EMS Council.

•Smoke testing recently conducted on the village’s sanitary sewer lines in an attempt to find the causes for increased water flow at the sewer plant revealed several cleanout areas that are allowing water into the sewer. It was also discovered that a storm sewer line in a cul-de-sac off of Prospect Street is tied directly into the sanitary sewer system, Huggins-Davis said.

“We haven’t found the smoking gun that we’ve been looking for,” she added. “We are going to keep working at it to see if we can figure this thing out.”

•Council passed a motion approving the hauling away of between 100,000 to 150,000 gallons of sewer sludge at a cost of 11 cents per gallon.

By Joshua Keeran

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

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