April 24, 2014

Elyria
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North Ridgeville officials seek to crack down on dirty roads

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Construction crews and landscaping companies make messes that sometimes include leaving dirt, mud, rocks and other debris on city streets.

City officials want to crack down on offenders, which is why City Council is considering revisions to existing legislation that could see businesses or private individuals fined up to $1,000 a day for the number of days that dirty conditions go uncleaned.

Council’s Safety Committee discussed the pending changes this week.

Mayor David Gillock sounded adamant when it came to the whether violators should be warned.

“No warnings should be given, period,” Gillock said. “We need to have the ability to tell people they can’t do that. They get the mess cleaned up immediately or we’re going to cite them.”

The city has not experienced any notable problems with contractors to date, according to Gillock, who cited one recent instance in which a resident was doing his own construction work and put gravel in his driveway, which later resulted in mud and debris being brought out onto the street.

“It hasn’t been a widespread problem,” Gillock said. “We’re just trying to fix it so it doesn’t become one.”

Councilwoman Roseanne Johnson, R-at large, questioned wording in the ordinance that termed violations as “unclassified” administrative misdemeanors.

Law Director Andrew Crites said at the time violations are termed “unclassified” instead of first- or second-degree misdemeanors because the citations would be fall under the category of civil rather than criminal and be issued by the city Engineer’s Department instead of police.

Subsequent violations could be elevated to a higher misdemeanor status.

The Safety Committee, which is chaired by Councilman Ron Arndt, R-2nd Ward, is awaiting further clarification on wording of the ordinance from Crites before making a final recommendation to the full City Council for a vote.

While the thrust of the ordinance looks to reduce dumping or dropping of dirt and other debris on city streets by construction or landscaping vehicles, the measure could also apply to privately owned vehicles such as pickups.

Councilman Robert Olesen, R-4th Ward, asked whether a farmer driving a tractor or other farm implement onto the road that inadvertently leaves dirt behind would be included as a potential violator.

The answer was yes, according to Gillock.

“He shouldn’t be bringing any dirt out onto the road, either,” the mayor said.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.

  • NR Citizen

    … funny, the city is constantly running dirt off of West Point through Chennault and Bainbridge without cleaning it up…

  • Heath J

    Having solved every other problem the city faces, they’re taking on dirt?

  • GreatRedeemer

    I can just see the farmer washing the columbine
    before crossing the street … kind of ridiculous. I’m thinking of how many times I see the city owned backhoe make its way down RT 83 to the ball fields on Sugar ridge while doing errands dirt flopping off its wheels.

  • tickmeoff

    Nine out of ten times the rain and snow will take care of this. The mayor has too much time on his hands!