Poland Village Council approved an increase in fines, including raising parking violations and adding an impound fee. Three ordinances were passed as an emergency, waving the requirement for three readings.
After a brief discussion as to when the new laws would go into effect, Atty. Anthony D'Apolito said the ordinances fall under the emergency provisions of the law.
''Since it is an emergency for the good of the community, it will go into effect immediately,'' D'Apolito said.
The first ordinance involved new rates for fixed violations bureau fines. All moving violations to which the accused pleads guilty will be set at $50. Non-moving violations to which the accused pleads guilty are set at $30. Minor misdemeanors not involving a motor vehicle to which the accused pleads guilty were set at $100, and seatbelt fines will follow the state laws of $30 for the driver and $20 for the passenger.
The second ordinance replaces Section 404.07(b) of the Village's traffic code and establishes an impound fee for vehicles removed under authority and placed into storage. The fees were set at $20 per day for passenger vehicles, $40 per day for commercial trucks and for trailer, $40 per day for boats, and $100 per day for semi-trucks, dump trucks and garbage trucks. It will also include a $50 administration fee.
Council woman Christine Yash said an area has been cleared out at the village garage to serve as the impound lot.
The final ordinance amends the village parking fines. The new fines for parking violations have been set at $20 per day with a $5 increase after each five business days. The increase replaces the old fine which was set many years ago.
''It used to be $3,'' Yash said. ''It's been that amount for a long time. I don't know when it was originally passed.''
All three ordinances took effect April 2.
Another issue discussed at the meeting involved street trees. Village street tree commissioner James Brammer reported on the Ohio Edison tree trimming program. He said he wasn't happy with what the tree trimming service was doing and he has worked with them to remove some trees.
''It's a process and they have a job to do, but we want the trees pruned in a special way,'' Brammer said.
According to Brammer, the tree service hired by Ohio Edison doesn't prune the trees for looks, but tops the trees so they won't grow into the wires. Brammer said he worked out a plan to remove every other tree completely, and then replace it with a tree that won't reach into the wires. He said by removing every other one this year and planting new trees of a different variety, when Ohio Edison returns in five years, the new trees will have taken hold and the older tall ones can be removed at that time and replaced.
Atty. D'Apolito said it was nice they are working with the village. He said the law is on their side when it comes to cutting the trees back.
Brammer also noted that he asked the crews to take down all of the ash trees because of the emerald ash borer. He said those trees would be dead in a few years anyway.
In other business council:
* Heard from Councilman Joe Mazur who reported on a new 24-inch sewer line being installed under I-680 that will help removed sludge from Boardman and prevent backup into Poland Woods. He said the new line is being held up because it runs east to west and there is a high pressure gas main running north to south that needs to be considered. He said Columbia Gas is currently seeking bids for a company to locate the line and determine how deep it is. ''We don't want an issue with someone hitting that gas line,'' Mazur said.
* Heard from Councilwoman Linda Srnec who informed council she will be presenting an emergency issue at the next council meeting regarding the 3.2 mill levy renewal. She will have the information from the county auditor at that time as well as information on a possible replacement levy. ''This levy is the Village's largest source of income,'' she said.
* Heard from Poland Historical Society representative Dave Smith who addressed council on the village website. He suggested having more information including meeting minutes posted. He suggested looking for grants or volunteers to help redo and update the site.