MECHANICSBURG – A proposed addition to the village’s junk vehicle ordinance centering around utility trailers was tabled during Monday’s Village Council meeting due to concerns with the language being too vague.
To help address an issue brought forth to council last month by village resident Paul Foss, council was presented Monday with the following proposed change to its ordinance pertaining to the storage of unlicensed or disabled vehicles: “Utility trailers whose only deficiency is lack of a valid license plate shall be exempt from this regulation.”
Council member Jodi Compton asked that council consider adding the definition of a utility trailer to the proposed addition over concerns that as written, the definition is open to interpretation and some owner’s of trailers capable of hauling cars could argue their trailer classifies as a utility trailer.
“I’d like to find out if there is a (Ohio Revised Code) definition of a utility trailer,” Compton said. “I know it should be common sense, but there is always going to be somebody who tries to argue against it.”
During discussion on the matter, council tossed about the idea of setting guidelines for utility trailers like limits on size, weight, and total number of axles.
Council agreed further research was needed, and the issue would be addressed at its May 15 meeting.
The issue surrounding utility trailers came to a head during the April 3 meeting when Foss expressed his concern over being notified by the Mechanicsburg Police Department (MPD) that his utility trailer was in violation of the junk vehicle ordinance because it was unlicensed and stored outside.
The village’s junk vehicle ordinance prohibits the storage of unlicensed and inoperable vehicles outside an enclosed structure for longer than 72 hours after receiving notification from the MPD.
Foss said he keeps his utility trailer clean, in working condition, and stored on his back lot. For those reasons, he didn’t feel it should be labeled in violation of the ordinance. He added he currently has no use for the trailer, so there is no need to have it licensed.
To address Foss’ concerns, council members Todd Class and Charles Foss agreed to work with Village Solicitor Joe Jimenez to look into excluding unlicensed utility trailers from the junk vehicle ordinance as long as they are kept clean and in working order.
The village has submitted the required paperwork applying for a 20-year loan in the amount of $981,734.32 through the Ohio Water Development Authority, Village Administrator April Huggins-Davis said.
The loan is being sought to fund the village’s anticipated Water Distribution System Improvements Phase 1 Project, which would replace aging 6- and 8-inch water mains along West Main Street and High Street with 12-inch mains to help address water concerns at the Mechanicsburg Exempted Village Schools’ complex on High Street.
If the loan, which would include a 3.58 percent interest rate, is awarded to the village later this month, Huggins-Davis said the plan is for construction to begin this summer and wrap up prior to the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.
In other business:
•Council voted in favor of suspending the three-readings rule and passed on emergency basis a resolution seeking the county auditor to certify the total revenue a 4-mill renewal levy for fire protection and emergency medical services (EMS) would generate.
The resolution states the renewal would replace the current five-year, 4-mill levy approved by voters in 2012 to fund the various services provided to residents by Mechanicsburg Fire & EMS.
•Mosquito spraying for the season will begin around 10 p.m. on Friday, May 5, and the village will begin flushing fire hydrants at the same time.
•Huggins-Davis informed council the annual spring cleanup event was a success as the village had 180 cubic yards of household waste hauled off on Monday.
•The annual joint meeting between council, Goshen Township Board of Trustees, and Maple Grove Cemetery Board of Trustees will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 15, at the Mechanicsburg Municipal Building. Council will meet immediately following the joint meeting at 6:30 p.m.
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-508-2304 or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.