Youngstown council agrees to hold banks accountable, install traffic cameras


City council has authorized Youngstown Board of Control to contract with Mahoning County for building inspections and with a private company to install traffic cameras.

County commissioners already signed off on the agreement last month to consolidate the city’s building department into the county’s.

Mayor Charles Sammarone sponsored the legislation and said Wednesday he supports the measure as a cost-saving initiative.

The board of control also got the green light from council to negotiate a contract with Redflex Traffic Systems of Phoenix to install traffic cameras in school zones throughout the city.

Council also voted to amend the vacant property registry to include a $10,000 bond on foreclosed properties, a victory for residents who have been advocating accountability from banks that own dilapidated homes in foreclosure.

The legislation is a result of a Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative campaign, and the bond can be used against mowing, boarding and demolition costs the city incurs, said Gary Davenport, MVOC organizing fellow.

He said the legislation is based on laws in Canton and Springfield, Mass., and “takes a big industry to task.”

Law Director Anthony Farris violators will be prosecuted, and the city’s broad definition of a property owner can be used to hold banks accountable.

For the complete story, read Thursday's Vindicator or

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