Council tables sidewalk law

Committee to review clearing of sidewalks

By Melanie Yingst - Miami Valley Today

TROY — On Monday, streets and sidewalk committee chairman Bobby Phillips requested a second committee meeting regarding the ordinance to clarify property owner’s responsibility for sidewalk maintenance.

The streets and sidewalks committee met on Nov. 4 to consider language changes to clarify responsibilities and prohibitions regarding the property owner’s responsibility to keep sidewalks clean and free of obstruction, particularly related to clearing of snow and ice and lawn debris.

A committee meeting has not been set as of press time. Phillips encouraged those who can not attend the meeting to email himself or committee members Brock Heath and William Lutz.

Council approved to go back to committee to discuss reducing the punishment, which currently is a minor misdemeanor, and continue further discussion regarding the ordinance.

Council member John Terwilliger asked if there was any discussion on how residents could deal with the issue of keeping sidewalks clear of both grass and snow.

Phillips said the committee has addressed lawn debris education, however the committee stressed the need to continue to educate residents on ways to keep catch basins free.

Terwilliger said in regards to grass clippings, residents in his neighborhood use yard waste bags, but it’s commercial mowers that fail to clear the debris.

Terwilliger said in regards to snow removal, council should keep in mind residents who are elderly and have physical limitations.

Several residents addressed council about the removal of snow in particular. Brad Boehringer suggested the city should keep a list of volunteers who would be willing to help those who are unable to clear walks.

Resident Richard Goodstein said he helps his elderly and single mother’s neighbors remove snow from their walks and driveways.

“I am in my 70s and my neighbors are all either widows or single moms. I voluntarily shovel their snow for them. My question is when the snow plows come and I have to shovel their driveways where am I supposed to put that snow?” Goodstein said. “We need to get out of our driveways without facing a misdemeanor. If I’m facing a misdemeanor for shoveling snow they put in my driveway, back out, I need a solution.”

Council member Todd Severt later added that the ordinance already included a minor misdemeanor clause in the statute.

Severt thanked Phillips for requesting an additional meeting to review the ordinance.

“I think we can now holistically look at how we want to handle all of this instead of just the one area,” Severt said.

The following resolutions also were approved:

• Authorize the purchase of gasoline and diesel fuel for years 2020-2022. According to the committee report, vendors were unable to supply bulk fuel supply prices. Council authorized fuel items to be purchased as needed based on the lowest and best price at the time fuel is needed and ordered.

• Authorize bidding for asphalt materials (not to exceed $80,000 per year) and water meters not to exceed ($180,000 per year) for years 2020-2022.

• Authorize bidding of concession operations at Duke Park. There are two concession operations at Duke Park, and their contract ends this year. The “Little League” concession stand operator has been Trojan Little League Football, which pays the city $100 per year. The second concession stand is located at the softball fields. It is operated by the Troy American Legion Baseball organization for an annual payment of $800. Each contract is for two years plus two one-year optional agreements.

The following ordinances were approved:

• Amend the salary ordinance for part-time and seasonal employees as of Jan. 1, 2020. January 2020, Ohio’s minimum wage will increase from $8.55 to $8.70 per hour. The city is mandated to meet the state’s minimum rate.

• Amend the salary ordinance for FLSA exempt employees to amend one range as of Jan. 1, 2020. A federal rule requires a minimum wage of $35,568 for employees meeting the requirements to be FLSA exempt. One of the city’s salary ranges falls below the minimum and impacts one employee. The city position impacted by this rule is the assistant concessions/food and beverage manager. Prior to the exemption, the salary ranges were $30,750 to $38,335. Beginning in 2020, the salary range will be $35,568 to $43,153.

• Levy assessments for Phase 11 of the Sidewalk Improvement Program. The assessments will recover $186,075 back to the city for the sidewalk repairs.

Phase 11 included the following areas: South Market between Canal and Race; South Clay (east side) between Young and South County Road 25-A; South Crawford between Young and Racer; Walker’s entire length; and Young, East Ross, Enyeart, East Dakota and Racer from South Clay to CSX Railroad/Union. The contracted work was performed in the 2019 construction season. Property owners will be given written notice to make a payment within 30 days. Assessments not paid will be certified to the county auditor for collection with property taxes over a five-year period.

In other news:

• Round two of leaf collection will begin on Nov. 25, weather permitting.

• City offices will close for the Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 28-29. Refuse collection and recycling will be on schedule on both days. Dye Mill Road facility also will remain open. The Dye Mill facility will close for the year at 3 p.m. Nov. 30.

Committee to review clearing of sidewalks

By Melanie Yingst

Miami Valley Today

Reach Melanie Yingst at

© 2019 Miami Valley Today; all rights reserved.

Reach Melanie Yingst at

© 2019 Miami Valley Today; all rights reserved.