GIRARD Tod Pond will be drained
An official said the pond has five times the amount of fecal matter allowed.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
GIRARD -- Polluted Tod Park Pond will be drained -- later, if not sooner.
In the meantime, Mayor James Melfi said a fence will be put up this week to keep children from playing in and around the water.
The mayor told city council Monday night he decided to take the action after lawmakers held a caucus session with the board of health.
The pond has been a concern because raw sewage from faulty home septic systems along Shannon Road in Liberty Township is draining into it.
James Dobson, deputy health commissioner, has written a letter to lawmakers terming it a "potential health hazard."
Dobson said tests show the pond has five times the fecal matter than is permitted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The health board recommends the pond be drained until sanitary sewers along Shannon Road are constructed to eliminate the problem.
Melfi and Mark Zuppo, director of parks and recreation, said they have been in contact with reservists at the Air Force Reserve Station in Vienna in an effort to dredge the pond.
Zuppo said children continue to wade and fish in the pond.
Melfi doesn't want the pond drained now because the stench from the remaining sludge "could ruin a neighborhood."
Rental properties: The mayor said after the meeting he wants to contract with a person to inspect rental properties.
Council has passed legislation that charges fees to register rentals and have them inspected. The inspector would be paid from the fees.
The program hasn't been instituted because there isn't anybody to do the inspections.
Charles "Bill" Ague, health board chairman, told council Monday that the health department can't get involved in the inspections unless a question of health is raised.
Kathleen O'Connell Sauline, D-2nd, called for the hiring of an inspector because "city business can't be put on hold."
Lawmakers, meanwhile, learned that the zoning board of appeals will hear appeals to the city's "Dumpster Law."
The law requires that large commercial trash bins be fenced and kept out of sight near the rear of properties.
George Panno, appeals board chairman, told council that the zoning inspector should have discretion during inspections.
Reynald Paolone, D-1st, argued that discretion opens the door to subjectivity.
Paolone said if an owner keeps a container clean but not fenced, the appeals board will probably grant a variance, thus not requiring a fence.