EAST LIVERPOOL - City Council went on record Monday night opposing a possible plan by a national bank to move out of the downtown area and offering support to keep it in town.
Responding to rumors published in a recent news article about the pending closure of the PNC bank on Fifth Street, Service-safety director Ryan Estell asked council to consider sending either individual letters or a letter on behalf of council as a whole, asking bank officials to at least meet with city officials.
He said the city administration and other organizations also have plans of sending such letters.
Estell said a national bank "has advantages we can use to help revitalize the city" and that the city "needs a mixture of local and national banks."
Councilman Sherrie Curtis made the motion that council send a letter asking bank officials to meet with the city and "see what we can do to help."
Bank officials have not said publicly that the location will close.
In legislative matters, council gave first reading to an ordinance that would require banks and others owning foreclosed property to post a $10,000 bond on each one.
The bond would ensure the property is maintained while in foreclosure and could be revoked and used to maintain or raze the property if it falls into disrepair, according to Councilman Ryan Stovall, who said it is modeled after Youngstown's recently enacted legislation.
Council has agreed the legislation will undergo the full three readings to give time for banking officials to give their input and to try and have a Youngstown official speak on how the law is working there.
Councilman Chuck Wade reported he had spoken to officials at three banks and is waiting for them to speak with their legal counsel.
Council passed an ordinance amending regulations pertaining to door-to-door solicitation, which had been forwarded by the finance committee.
With the new ordinance in place, solicitors will pay a reduced fee of $20 for a six-day permit, down from $25 and will be required to have a company-produced photo ID and show proof that they have registered with the city tax department.
Curtis said the regulations do not affect those who sell items produced on their own farms nor charitable organizations.
The legislation prompted some discussion on the behavior of solicitors, and citizens were assured they have recourse for any solicitor who is unkempt, profane or otherwise a nuisance.
"If they are bothering you and you tell them to leave, they should go away immediately," Estell said, adding, "I'm happy to go shoo them off myself. (The police) are the next step."
Solicitors also must have a city permit with them at all times and show it if asked, but residents were cautioned by Curtis and Estell to not let solicitors in the home, even if they do have a permit, and to speak with them through a locked door if possible.