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Village council looks at trees, unfinished work

October 9, 2013
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

Poland Village Council took another look at street trees that were taken down and needed to be taken down at last week's meeting. One issue seemed to be over who is responsible.

Village legal council, attorney Anthony D'Apolito, said, "I recommend hiring a person to do a title search."

He said when a tree is in the devil strip (between the sidewalk and the roadway) there may be an easement that could take responsibility off of the homeowner. The village took down two trees already on Main Street and there is a third tree on Riverside Drive that an arborist with a tree company said needs to come down.

D'Apolito said he spoke to a person with knowledge in easements and was told the only sure way to find out is through a title search. That should reveal if anyone, such as Ohio Edison, would have an easement for the devil strip.

After a long discussion, a motion was approved to hire an appropriate person to perform a title search to determine the actual owner of the devil strip trees.

On the matter of unfinished work at 12 Poland Manor Drive, council heard recommendations from D'Apolito on which way to go. The owner of the property has applied for a third permit, but D'Apolito said it should not be considered at this time. He said at this point the property falls under the nuisance laws and that issue should be cleared up first.

"The goal is to get the property looking presentable," D'Apolito told council.

He said the homeowner doesn't need a permit to clean up a nuisance violation. The property owner will have to clean it up before a third construction permit is issued and the village has the right to hold up the permit.

"We need to list what we want him to do," D'Apolito said. "Once he cleans that up, he will be eligible for another permit."

As for a $2,000 check the property owner gave the city for a new permit, D'Apolito said the village can hold it and not cash it until the property is taken care of.

Council President Joe Mazur said he had a discussion with a neighbor who wants the village to do something about the eyesore.

"We have to get tough," he said. "After all, it's been three years now."

On a different matter, Councilwoman Linda Srnec reported the new affordable healthcare laws are requiring entities to cover full-time workers. She said in Ohio that means anyone working 25 hours or more is considered full time and if they presently work those many hours, the position could not be cut back to save from providing health care, to which D'Apolito agreed.

"You won't be able to make an existing position ineligible for insurance benefits," D'Apolito said. "New positions have to be created for 24 hours or less to not qualify."

Srnec said she is still learning more about the health care situation and what entities can and can't do.

In other business:

Deputy Clerk Jeff Vrabel said he would get prices to replace the digital recorder. He said the present one is causing problems when downloading files and the village needs one that is compatible with Windows 7.

Mayor Tim Sicafuse reported there is a vacancy on the Historic Preservation Committee that needs filled and asked council members to see if they know someone willing to fill the seat.

A resolution was passed to honor the Poland Schools Foundation Educator of the Year Ruth Metzger, and the two Alumni of the Year, Chief Russ Beatty and Chief Brian Goodin.

Randy Columbo from Johnston Place, addressed council regarding the recent street paving. He said it left a four-inch bump at his drive that causes him pain when he is driving over it. Mazur said the drives were supposed to be feathered in and that he would check into it.

Council approved a motion to change the next meeting from Oct. 15 to Oct. 14.



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