City council moved forward with plans to regulate garage sales.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
GIRARD -- The city must lower the water level in Upper Girard Lake by June 17, the chief of the division of water at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources says.
A letter from Richard S. Bartz, chief of the division of water for ODNR, was sent certified mail to the city last month and was read during Monday's regular council meeting.
The letter states that the city must lower and maintain the upper lake at an elevation of 10 feet below the spillway crest to provide a flood storage buffer for the Lower Girard Lake dam. That will protect residents living downstream, the letter states.
Rex Funge, city safety director, and council members said they have started to lower the lake.
Council will vote at its meeting May 23 to seek bids for some repair work necessary to complete the lowering of the lake.
"We are also going to have a meeting with ODNR officials this week to let them know what we are doing," Funge said.
Bartz's letter noted that the rate to lower the lake must not exceed 2 feet per week, so it will take about five weeks to accomplish the 10-foot drop in elevation. The city must maintain the lowered elevation, the letter states.
The lakes were bought in 1995 so that Girard could have its own water supply. However, Mayor James Melfi said the city did not have enough money to build a filtration plant to make that possible.
In other matters, council put off voting on legislation that would have permitted the city to install video traffic-monitoring devices at red lights. Councilman Frank Migliozzi said he didn't want to vote on the legislation without first talking to the new police chief.
"I'd like to find out how the new chief feels about the matter and if he agrees before I ask for this to pass," Migliozzi said.
The city's civil service commission said last week that Capt. Frank Bigowsky ended up with the highest score on the police chief test. The mayor has 30 days to make the official appointment.
Garage sale permits
Council also passed second reading on an ordinance authorizing the zoning inspector to issue garage sale permits and establishing guidelines regulating the sales. It must pass three readings to become law.
Councilmen Larry Williams and Tom Seidler said the legislation would help keep numerous garage sales signs off utility poles and streets. The proposed legislation states the signs are permitted only on the residents' property. Residents would have to buy a $5 permit to have a garage sale, according to the proposed legislation.
The third reading of the ordinance is scheduled for the next meeting.
Councilman Jeremy Williams also said a business owner plans to attend the next meeting and seek permission to open a business that would feature games of skill that would award prizes to winners. He noted the business owner is planning to open a similar facility in Boardman.
"The mayor could have given him the OK to do it, but the mayor felt it should go through council," Williams said.