Blanchester Council considers downtown tables, benches


Legislation presented, under discussion

By Nathan Kraatz - nkraatz@civitasmedia.com



Blanchester Police Officer Michael Keller is sworn in by Blanchester Mayor John Carman Thursday evening at a meeting of Blanchester Village Council.

Blanchester Police Officer Michael Keller is sworn in by Blanchester Mayor John Carman Thursday evening at a meeting of Blanchester Village Council.


Also in council chambers:

• Blanchester resident Fred Crowe invited council members to attend the 100th anniversary of the Junior Order of United American Mechanics’ building. The building is at the corner of Center Street and Broadway Street and includes The Exchange. The Order’s hall is above The Exchange. The dinner will be December 12 at 6 p.m.

• Council approved the purchase of a new police cruiser, instead of a used one, on recommendation by the safety committee. Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt said the cruiser shouldn’t cost more than $28,000 with equipment. Council approved him to spend no more than $30,000.

Council member Ricky Roush said, “It should be noted that this will forego us buying cruisers for the next several years and the budget surplus will more than pay the total cost of the cruiser.”

• Discussed a concession building at a Blanchester park, of which Blanchester Mayor John Carman said parks officials were confident would be opened by the first of the year.

• Wayne Clifton, who supervises the streets department, asked council for an ordinance that would prevent people from blowing leaves or leaving glass clippings in the roads. “All they got to do is leave them on the curbs,” he said. Clifton said it costs time and money to clean the streets when grass or leaves are blown into the road.

Clifton also said people have been putting out 8 or more trash cans and that others are having Rumpke pick up their trash despite not paying their bills. Carman suggested writing down the addresses and cross-referencing them with the board of public affairs. Blanchester fiscal officer Sherry Cope said the contract price with Rumpke is fixed, and said that if Rumpke stoppped picking up it could create problems with trash around. Blanchester Solicitor Andrew McCoy said a lien could be filed against the property if the property owner were disposing of trash without paying.

Clifton also said it isn’t right that some residents put out eight to ten trash cans. Wallace asked Clifton to write down the addresses of those houses that have many trash cans in front of them while he’s working. Clifton said that wasn’t his job. “If you write it down, I’ll take it upon myself to take it down,” Wallace replied.

Clifton also said the leaf pickup was going well and expected a couple more weeks until the program was finished.

• Received a report from the Blanchester Planning and Zoning Committee and council member Cindy Sutton. Sutton said the committee discussed complaints about motor homes and RVs – whether people lived in them or stored them and those that blocked residents’ views of roadways. Sutton said the committee also discussed the need to have ordinances condensed and placed on a flash drive for Zoning Inspector Dan Whitworth.

BLANCHESTER — Benches and tables may be coming to downtown Blanchester, if a proposed piece of legislation passes as presented.

The ordinance, if approved, would allow “eating establishments” to have a bench or table abutting their business on a village sidewalk. The ordinance affects the downtown blocks of Main Street and Broadway Street.

No more than two benches and two tables could be installed.

Blanchester Village Solicitor Andrew McCoy presented the legislation Thursday at council, and Blanchester Mayor John Carman said businesses had expressed an interest in the legislation.

McCoy suggested that council insert language limiting how many feet a table or bench could extend into the sidewalk.

Those businesses that wished to have an outdoor bench or table would need to file for a permit from the zoning office. Violation of the ordinance, according to McCoy, would be a misdemeanor punishable by a $100 fine. Each day of violation would constitute a separate offense.

Council member Dave Wallace asked if the ordinance explicitly stated whose liability the bench would be. McCoy said it doesn’t, but said that any bench or table used by a business would be the liability of that business, not the village’s.

McCoy said the permitting process could require a business to show they have sufficient liability insurance and could be included in the ordinance.

Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt said the village had an ordinance from decades ago that restricted blocking sidewalks and asked for its removal. Reinbolt asked council to repeal that ordinance.

McCoy said that would be fine, and he added that the ordinance he drafted would invalidate conflicting ordinances.

The ordinance would not allow for vending machines on sidewalks.

No vote was held Thursday for or against the ordinance.

“We can take it, look it over and we can have planning committee meet again now that we have something more tangible to review, and we can actually set those measurements (restricting table lengths) and bring it back to council at the next meeting,” Carman said.

Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.

Blanchester Police Officer Michael Keller is sworn in by Blanchester Mayor John Carman Thursday evening at a meeting of Blanchester Village Council.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2015/11/web1_DSC_0198.jpgBlanchester Police Officer Michael Keller is sworn in by Blanchester Mayor John Carman Thursday evening at a meeting of Blanchester Village Council.
Legislation presented, under discussion

By Nathan Kraatz

nkraatz@civitasmedia.com

Also in council chambers:

• Blanchester resident Fred Crowe invited council members to attend the 100th anniversary of the Junior Order of United American Mechanics’ building. The building is at the corner of Center Street and Broadway Street and includes The Exchange. The Order’s hall is above The Exchange. The dinner will be December 12 at 6 p.m.

• Council approved the purchase of a new police cruiser, instead of a used one, on recommendation by the safety committee. Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt said the cruiser shouldn’t cost more than $28,000 with equipment. Council approved him to spend no more than $30,000.

Council member Ricky Roush said, “It should be noted that this will forego us buying cruisers for the next several years and the budget surplus will more than pay the total cost of the cruiser.”

• Discussed a concession building at a Blanchester park, of which Blanchester Mayor John Carman said parks officials were confident would be opened by the first of the year.

• Wayne Clifton, who supervises the streets department, asked council for an ordinance that would prevent people from blowing leaves or leaving glass clippings in the roads. “All they got to do is leave them on the curbs,” he said. Clifton said it costs time and money to clean the streets when grass or leaves are blown into the road.

Clifton also said people have been putting out 8 or more trash cans and that others are having Rumpke pick up their trash despite not paying their bills. Carman suggested writing down the addresses and cross-referencing them with the board of public affairs. Blanchester fiscal officer Sherry Cope said the contract price with Rumpke is fixed, and said that if Rumpke stoppped picking up it could create problems with trash around. Blanchester Solicitor Andrew McCoy said a lien could be filed against the property if the property owner were disposing of trash without paying.

Clifton also said it isn’t right that some residents put out eight to ten trash cans. Wallace asked Clifton to write down the addresses of those houses that have many trash cans in front of them while he’s working. Clifton said that wasn’t his job. “If you write it down, I’ll take it upon myself to take it down,” Wallace replied.

Clifton also said the leaf pickup was going well and expected a couple more weeks until the program was finished.

• Received a report from the Blanchester Planning and Zoning Committee and council member Cindy Sutton. Sutton said the committee discussed complaints about motor homes and RVs – whether people lived in them or stored them and those that blocked residents’ views of roadways. Sutton said the committee also discussed the need to have ordinances condensed and placed on a flash drive for Zoning Inspector Dan Whitworth.

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