Maintenance of property main focus for Wellsville

WELLSVILLE — Acceptable standards for property maintenance was a focus of Tuesday’s council meeting.

Council passed an ordinance updating the minimum standards for property maintenance, which were last established in 1993. Council members debated whether 12 inches was too high to let grass grow, but decided that it is an acceptable maximum height before citing the owner.

The ordinance also subjects all buildings within the village to exterior inspections, and any property violating the standards will be cited. It takes effect immediately.

“These folks that own properties that can afford to fix or tear down are going to have start doing so,” said Councilman and Chairman of the Finance Committee, John Morrow. “Or they’re coming to court and we’re going to make them.”

Council hopes the ordinance will keep home and property owners accountable and prevent any additional building collapses, such as the collapse of the former Shingler’s Jewelry building located at 431 Main St.

Council also discussed setting up an emergency demolition fund for future buildings in need of demolition, but no official plans for the fund have been made.

“Those buildings just didn’t get that bad overnight. These buildings have been in disrepair and nothing has been done, so now it falls on this administration to take care of this, and we’re in fiscal emergency from the previous administration,” said Mayor Nancy Murray. “And it’s pretty tough when you know you’re in fiscal emergency and you have to try to find funds for other people’s buildings. It’s not fair to these tax payers.”

Murray said all funds are in the black. There will be a financial planning and supervision commission meeting at 2 p.m. July 15 to review Wellsville’s monthly finance reports, funding and accounting documents.

In other action, council agreed to:

-An ordinance to make permanent appropriations for current expenses and other expenditures of the village of Wellsville, for the period of January 1 to December 31, 2019.

-Council had its second reading of an ordinance providing advanced schooling for full-time members of the Village Fire Department up to $1,000.

-The second reading of an emergency resolution to exclude the approval of the city of Salem for an alternate method of apportionment of local government fund monies to be distributed in 2020.

-The second reading authorizing and directing the village fiscal officer to collect $78,000 advance from the general fund to the fire fund.

-The second reading of of a resolution approving an alternative method of local government fund monies.

-The third reading of an ordinance establishing any person owning or managing land within the village will be kept free and clear of noxious weeds and rank vegetation. This ordinance also established 12 inches as the maximum height for weeds, rank vegetation and grass.

-The approval of an invoice worth $13,515, included the purchase of a $9,271 Kubota ZTR mower to replace the village’s current mower, which had been in the shop for repairs four times last year, advertisements in the Morning Journal for waste water treatment plant costing $731, supplies for the street department costing $214, charge air-conditioner for W2 costing $27 and repair for sewage plant pump for $3,271.