Parking and potholes are problems in Sterling

By Andrew Garrett -

Parking is a problem for the Village of Mt. Sterling, it was revealed at Monday evening’s council meeting.

Sheriff’s Deputy Jack Dill appealed to council and village law director Mark Pitstick to look into the possibility of amending the village ordinance regarding street parking.

The current ordinance states only that a vehicle parked on the street must be moved every 24 hours, but it doesn’t specify what distance it must be moved.

According to Dill, some village residents were taking advantage of the lack of specification to engage in a game of petty “cat and mouse.”

Dill said that his office had received complaints from residents on Houston Street that a neighbor was purposely parking a car on the street in front of neighbors’ homes, and that at least one of these neighbors felt not enough was being done to remedy the situation.

Dill remarked that he and members of his office had been out to address the issue, but each time the car had been moved to a different spot along the street, effectively having been moved.

Mayor Billy Martin brought up the enforcement of two-hour parking in certain areas of the village.

Dill brought to his attention that the village lacked an ordinance on two-hour parking, making it impossible for any enforcement on the matter.

“Here we’re going to get into the same problem,” he said. “How far does a car have to move?”

Council was in agreement that a separate ordinance pertaining to two-hour parking was necessary. They also agreed that reassessing the fine-amount for a parking ticket was in order.

Deputy Dill also wants all residents to be aware of the recent spate of car break-ins throughout the village.

The perpetrators are suspected of coming in from Columbus in search of quick and easy sources of drug money, he said. So far, they have stolen only change from unlocked cars, and have not yet resorted to actually breaking windows.

“These are crimes of opportunity,” the mayor said.

Take your valuables out of the car and lock the doors, Dill reminded council.

Mike Stage addressed council about having to ride his scooter in the street due to the sorry condition of the village’s sidewalks in places.

Residents are responsible for maintaining and repairing the sidewalks in front of their own homes and businesses, according to village legal counsel Mark Pitstick. Any replacement must be in alignment with the dimensions of the already existing sidewalk, he said.

“You (council) have the legal ability to cause sidewalks to be torn up and repaired and assess the homeowners and business owners through their property taxes,” said Pitstick. “But, are you willing to do that?”

Administration is waiting on a few more bids for pothole repairs, but the work will be coming shortly, according to village fiscal officer, Courtney Bricker.

Those current and former residents, as well as contractors who have done business within the village limits, who have shirked their responsibility in paying the village-wide RITA tax, can look forward to receiving a notice in the mail, Bricker said.

A list of villagers given notice of breaching the nuisance and abatement ordinance and who haven’t complied within the required 10 days has been compiled, according to councilwoman Tammy Vansickle. It is recommended that anyone having difficulty making good on a citation contact the village administration before legal recourse is taken.

Councilwoman Rebecca Burns reminded the village that an usually large influx of bicyclers will be passing through Mt. Sterling on Tuesday, June 19. As many as 1,500 bicyclers will be traveling from London to Circleville via State Route 56 as part of the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure. Mt. Sterling will act as the lunch stop for the day. “The Nazarene Church has generously stepped up and offered to prepare all kinds of different food items and drinks for sale for all the riders,” Burns said. They will also be venturing out into the community.

“The Nazarene Church could use anyone that wants to volunteer to come to the church that day … we’ll find a place to use you,” said councilman Dave Timmons.

By Andrew Garrett

Reach Andrew Garrett at 740-852-1616, ext. 1616.

Reach Andrew Garrett at 740-852-1616, ext. 1616.