GIRARD WATER Mayor: water rates won't be increased

The council also approved a code of conduct for youth sporting events.
GIRARD -- Mayor James J. Melfi says he has no plans to increase water rates despite added costs from city water sources.
Melfi made the comment after Monday's city council meeting, at which he announced water providers have increased their rates to the city.
The largest provider, Niles, has increased its rate by 20 percent, and Youngstown's rate has increased 81/2 percent. McDonald, a third provider, has not announced a rate hike.
Niles, Youngstown and McDonald are members of the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District and buy treated water from the district. The member MVSD communities then sell the water to other communities, including Girard.
Councilman Joseph Christopher, D-at-large, said its only a matter of time before McDonald follows suit.
Melfi told lawmakers that the increases will cost the city an additional $9,700 per month.
Melfi increased city water rates 31/2 percent in 2002. He said he city will absorb the Niles and Youngstown increases as long as the city water fund remains in the black.
Melfi said that although he was disappointed in the increases, he pointed out that this is the first increase by Niles in about three years.
Youth sports
During the meeting, council approved a youth sports code of conduct that, if violated, could result in a spectator being banned from an athletic event in the city for six months -- and being required to attend anger management counseling.
Councilman Charles Doran, D-4th, introduced the legislation in mid-2002, and it was passed by lawmakers after agreement between Doran and Mark Zuppo, city recreation director.
The code pertains to any spectator who acts inappropriately.
It prohibits them from initiating a fight, threatening physical abuse, using obscenities or running onto the playing surface. It also prohibits obscene gestures and racial, ethnic or sexual slurs.
The code applies to any parent, guest, spectator or coach at any youth sporting event.
Lawmakers also created a code-of-conduct committee to oversee the conduct at events and hear appeals.
Also during the meeting, Frank Rich, city safety director, announced that the fire department has received a $23,500 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The money will be used to buy protective equipment for full-time firefighters.
Rich credited Fire Chief Kenneth Bornemiss and Howard Jacobs, now a retired fire captain, with taking it upon themselves to apply for the grant.

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