MECHANICSBURG – Todd Class was appointed the newest member of Village Council during Monday’s meeting.
The lone resident to submit an application for the open council seat will attempt to fill the shoes of longtime council member Bill Farley, who passed away in mid-March after serving nearly 30 years.
A village resident almost two years, Class said he enjoys living in Mechanicsburg. Since moving to the village, he added, some longtime residents have told him stories about what the village was like in its heyday.
“From what I’ve been told, this place used to be a booming town,” Class said. “I’d like to see it get back to that.”
He added over the past two years he hasn’t always agreed with decisions made by council, another reason he decided to apply for the open seat.
“I’m hoping to bring new ideas to the table that will help the town out,” Class said. “I’m going to give it a try, anyway.”
Class will serve the remainder of Farley’s elected term, which expires Dec. 31.
After wishing Class all the best in his new position, Farley’s widow, Brenda, thanked council for its love and support since the passing of her husband.
“Please continue to take care of this precious town,” she told council. “Small town USA is where to live and love, because you all care about each other.”
Resident concerned with junk vehicle ordinance
Village resident Paul Foss approached council after being informed by the Mechanicsburg Police Department that his unlicensed utility trailer was in violation of the village’s ordinance pertaining to unlicensed and inoperable vehicles.
Foss said it was his belief the ordinance was put in place by council to help clean up the village, but that he didn’t feel his utility trailer was an eyesore as it is stored on his property in working order.
Foss added he is not currently using the trailer for hauling purposes, so he didn’t have current tags on it. In addition, Foss expressed his concern with law enforcement going on his property to take pictures and check for unlicensed vehicles.
During a discussion on the language in the ordinance, which is enforced through citations from the police department, Village Solicitor Joe Jimenez said an unlicensed trailer is, in fact, in violation of the ordinance.
“My position is a trailer that is not licensed is not operable on the road,” he said. “We can review this if we want and revise it if we choose to.”
Council agreed to review the ordinance and discuss any possible changes to it during its April 17 meeting.
The village’s junk vehicle ordinance currently states no person is to store vehicle parts, unlicensed vehicles, or disabled vehicles outside an enclosed structure for longer than 72 hours after receiving a warning by police.
If the violation isn’t addressed within three days after proper notice is given, a separate offense can be issued for each subsequent period of 10 days that the unlicensed or disabled vehicle remains left in the open.
Violators of the ordinance can be cited with a minor misdemeanor on first offense. If found to be in violation for a second time within a one-year period, the citation becomes a fourth degree misdemeanor. More than two violations within a year results in a third degree misdemeanor.
In other business:
•A resolution requesting the Champaign County Board of Revision to turn over to the village properties at 2 and 4 N. Main St. was passed by council on an emergency basis.
Village Administrator April Huggins-Davis said the properties are side-by-side vacant buildings at the corner of North Main and East Sandusky streets and failed to sell at sheriff sales. The village hopes to acquire them before they go up for bid at an auditor’s sale.
If the properties are awarded to the village, Huggins-Davis said, the plan would be to work with the Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP) to get the properties back into productive use.
•Council signed off on a purchase order to A1 Able Pest Doctors in the amount of $2,200 for mosquito spraying this season. The company is scheduled to spray 11 times between May 5 and Sept. 15.
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-508-2304 or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.