NILES Council OKs court renovations

Court funds will reimburse the city's general fund for the project at municipal court.
NILES -- City council has cleared the way for renovations at Niles Municipal Court.
Council approved several pieces of legislation Wednesday for the project, which will cost about $119,470 and is designed to provide more space in the clerk of court's office.
The legislation authorizes Sam Natoli, public service director, to buy equipment, furniture and design services through state purchasing for the court. The items include an electronic filing system; carpeting for the clerk's office, jury room, courtroom and prosecutor's office; and chairs for the court and jury rooms.
Council also authorized Natoli to advertise for bids and enter a contract for the remodeling.
The court is on the second floor of the city's safety building on East State Street.
More compact: The new filing system, which can accommodate three to four years' worth of court cases, will free up space in the filing-cabinet lined clerk's office. The system's capacity equals about 15 vertical filing cabinets, court officials said.
Another piece of legislation transferred $40,000 from the court's computer-legal research fund to the general fund to cover a portion of the costs. Other costs will come from the general fund but will be paid back through money collected in court costs.
Mayor Ralph A. Infante Jr. said that Judge Thomas W. Townley is paying for the project out of court funds.
"I commend him for that," the mayor said. "We have a good working relationship with the court."
Complaints: In other business, council referred to its safety committee several requests to strengthen city ordinances against residents' igniting fireworks and riding four-wheelers. The action came after a handful of residents from a neighborhood off North Road complained.
The residents said fireworks ignited by neighbors July 4 ended up in their yards and pools and on their rooftops. Despite an ordinance barring people from riding four-wheelers on city streets or sidewalks or in parks, the residents said some people do it anyway.
They said they are concerned about safety. No date was set for a safety committee meeting on the issue.

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