Council hears pitch for riverfront committee

A boat launch continues to be the focus of city officials’ development plans for the riverfront.

Warren City Council is entertaining a committee to distress some smaller – yet significant – issues as part of that effort.

Councilman Phil Gilbert proposed the Riverfront Development Committee.

He asked that Councilmen John Wortman and Doug Hearn serve on the committee with him.

“I want to form this committee so that i/we are sure that business owners are brought into discussions- and also get some other ideas accomplished,” Gilbert told the Times Observer on Tuesday, specifically identifying parking and landscaping. “The city has a habit of talking to business owners after the fact and I’m tired of it.”

Mayor Maurice Cashman asked that the committee keep minutes to be able to report back to council on what they’re doing.

Gilbert stressed that “ongoing discussions” need to give business owners a seat “at the table…. There seems to be some disconnect there.”

Changes to the state Sunshine Law limited the action that could be taken to establish the group on Monday as the item was not on the original agenda and could incur some costs, such as advertising meeting dates.

The issue will be on the Oct. meeting agenda unless council meets in a special meeting prior to that date.

Parking spaces allocated

Council agreed to set aside 10 parking spots near Warren General Hospital specifically for DaVita Dialysis patients.

Police Chief Joe Sproveri said the spaces are currently two hour parking. Enforcement, he explained, will be via placards patients will display in their vehicles. The restricted parking will be in place from 5 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

Fee implemented for water shutoffs

Council also approved a resolution to implement a $50 fee in instances where a water shut off is initiated in a landlord tenant situation. The fee will cover the cost of processing the paperwork needed as part of the shutoff process.

Holtz said that the landlord can be billed for the fee if council implements it and that the cost would fall back on ratepayers and the city if it had not been approved.

City to pursue 5G ordinance

City Planner Vince DeJoy presented the possibility of hiring outside counsel to draft an ordinance regarding both potential 5G wireless facilities and design standards.

Councilman Gergory Fraser asked about the need for the ordinance. DeJoy said more poll attachments will be part of the roll out and the city “need(s) to be prepared for it. The technology is going to be fast coming upon us.”

Wortman said he would oppose pursuing the ordinance as an example of “government at its worst,” suggesting the regulations will go beyond state and federal requirements. It passed 6-1 in spite of his opposition.


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