TRUMBULL COUNTY Official eyes tent used for referendum

A historic church had to get a building permit for its steeple.
WARREN -- A city building official has a problem with the tent being used at a Warren business to gather Trumbull County sales tax referendum and repeal signatures.
Chris Taneyhill, building official, said he stopped at B & amp;B Automotive Machine, 717 W. Market St., on Monday after noticing the parking lot tent as he drove around town.
The tent has been there for a week and a half, proprietor Bill Walls noted.
Problem is, the tent is a nonconforming structure and the city does not issue permits for such structures, Taneyhill explained. The tent is close to the road and could possibly be prone to wind damage, and should be taken down, he said.
No order was issued by the city; Taneyhill said he just "asked nicely."
Taneyhill noted he has in the past lodged concerns at similar tents at other venues in the city.
"We're not just making him do it because it's politically motivated," the official said. "Anyone who knows me will tell you that I'll stop if I see something that's not right."
Tent permits
Tents, meanwhile, can be used if approved by the office of Doug Franklin, safety-service director. Taneyhill noted that the tax petitioners could seek a special-event permit.
The permits are usually for festivals or a temporary event where there is a gathering of people, Franklin said; the cost varies based upon any expenses the city might incur, such as for security or utilities.
Walls said the tax petitions had been moved inside of B & amp;B Automotive anyway, over the weekend, because of the weather.
Walls is working with Thaddeus Price of Howland to circulate three separate petitions involving 21,000 signatures to force two new county sales taxes onto the November general election ballot.
Price said he'd ask his lawyer, Michael Rossi of Warren, to look into the tent issue.
Price is working out of the Howland Township gazebo but over the snowy weekend worked from inside his Buick doing what he called "drive-up signing."
Along with B & amp;B and the gazebo, volunteers were to work Cook's markets in Bristolville and Mecca, and Bi Rite on Youngstown Road.
Other permit
In another city building matter, out-of-town workers restoring the historic First Presbyterian Church of Warren steeple on Friday obtained the necessary building permit from the city, Taneyhill said.
Inspired Heights of Rockford, Ill., tentatively planned to get the tall order of re-shingling and repairing the spire under way this afternoon. The job had been delayed by weather and the permit requirement.
Fixing the 255-foot-tall steeple will require three months' work. The 10-man crew will use ropes, not scaffolding.

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