CITY GOVERNMENT Warren council plans crackdown on landfill regulations

Landfills, traffic cameras, an old dam and more pack council's agenda.
WARREN -- City council is slated to put its stamp of approval Wednesday on tougher landfill regulations.
Legislation scheduled to receive an automatic third reading amends Warren's zoning code to prohibit construction of landfills near residential areas.
The ordinance also would have a bearing on an existing facility, Warren Hills on Martin Luther King Boulevard, should it seek a new license to operate. The legislation is in response to odor problems nearby residents have had there.
The legislation is co-sponsored by Councilmen Robert Holmes III, D-4th, and Susan Hartman, D-7th.
These new rules would more fully regulate where landfills and waste transfer stations could be located in the city. Warren, using its zoning powers, would protect people by insisting that landfills and waste transfer facilities be no closer than 2,500 feet from areas zoned for residential use.
Any such landfill and transfer facilities already in operation would be considered a "nonconforming use" and may continue operating -- but cannot be expanded.
Tackling traffic
Council also will try to get moving on two pieces of legislation to provide for use of automated cameras to impose civil penalties on speeding violators, and also red light violators.
The city is looking at automated cameras for the intersections that have the most collisions and red light infractions.
Councilman Robert Dean, D-at large, earlier this month had wanted a third reading on the "red light violators" ordinance. It was delayed as city officials researched with potential vendors the issues of fines, duration of yellow traffic lights, and people's appeal rights.
Dean is also co-sponsoring the "speeding violators" legislation with Holmes, Alford Novak, D-2nd, and John Homlitas, D-3rd.
Council also is to take up new legislation, sponsored by Novak, to allow the Ohio Department of Transportation to remove the North River Road dam on the Mahoning River.
ODOT is planning to remove the dam next spring and also has been working with the Trumbull County Planning Commission.
The river dam at Lover's Lane was removed in June by ODOT. Once the dams are removed the river will flow freely and public access will be improved, proponents including the Mahoning River Consortium say.
The state would remove the North River Road dam at no cost to the Trumbull County Metro Parks, the owner. The county planning commission also is making arrangements with ODOT to remove a rock-rubble dam near the former Copperweld Steel plant.
Music hall renovations
Council plans a second reading to an ordinance allowing dressing room and restroom renovation at W.D. Packard Music Hall.
In May, music hall trustees said the four dressing rooms -- two for stars and two for groups -- would get renewed finishes, new tile and carpet, window and counter replacements, handicapped accessibility, introduction of air conditioning and other changes.
These renovations are funded with $100,000 from Ohio's capital budget secured by state Rep. Randy Law of Warren, R-64th. The trustees would like the renovations to begin this fall.
Also Wednesday, council is requested by Hartman to give a third reading to an ordinance that would let the police department sell the old version of mobile data terminals for $1,000 per terminal. These allow patrol officers to gather records information in their cars without going through a dispatcher.
Installing such devices across the board in Trumbull County is recommended to county commissioners in a newly completed study of Trumbull County 911 needs. The mobile data terminals cost about $6,000 each when purchased new.

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