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South Point looks at noise ordinance: Matter to be addressed at May meeting of council

SOUTH POINT — South Point’s village council began the process on Tuesday of coming up with an ordinance concerning “noise and disturbing the peace in the village.”
According to council member Chris Smith, this came about as a result of complaints from residents on Billie Joy Drive.
“They were concerned about partying and loud music,” he said.
Mayor Jeff Gaskin said he would like to see an ordinance in effect by summer.
A proposal was put forward before the council, but, after questions about specifics and existing Ohio law, the initial plan of doing a first reading was abandoned.
The council and mayor agreed to study the matter until next month’s meeting, having village solicitor Randy Lambert make revisions and strike any unnecessary language, and allowing council members and police chief Chris Mahjer to make changes and provide input.
The plan is for an ordinance to be put together by May’s meeting and a consideration of suspending the three-reading rule for quick passage.
One resident asked if the public would have time to look over the ordinance. Gaskin conceded this would not be the case if the rule was suspended.
“If the council deems to suspend the rule, then, no, it gets read once,” he said, noting this takes a three-fourths vote. “If not, we would have three readings into the summer.”
The council also agreed to look over a planned ordinance on junk vehicles and demolition materials outside of homes, which council member Mary Cogan and Lambert have been working on. A finalized proposal will be presented at May’s meeting for a vote.
The council also voted 4-1 to establish a military leave policy for village employees.
Council member Bill Patrick voted no, explaining to The Tribune after the vote that he preferred that these employees “get military pay and we make up the difference in pay.”
“My thought is, if they’re off for military leave, we’re paying and not getting anything out of it,” he said. “I disagreed and think it should be worded where they get the difference in what the military gives.”
In other business, the council:
• Heard from Patrick, who said he had a $746 quote for a Canon camera and equipment for purposes of recording village meetings and making them available online and on cable television.
After questions about cost and the process involved in making the recordings, Patrick put the matter forward, but, without a second, the motion died.
• The council voted unanimously to revise the pay of the mayor, which had not been done in eight years. The raise of three percent a year, the same as all village employees would go into effect for the next mayor.
“The mayor doesn’t get this, the next mayor does,” Gaskin said.
• Heard from Patrick, who said he has been approaching area businesses for donations to install a wrought-iron fence around White Cottage Cemetery, which the village recently expanded.
Patrick said he has pledges for between $5,000 and $6,000 for the estimated $36,000 price.
“So far, we’re doing fairly good,” he said.
• Heard from fire chief Mark Gooddall advised residents who may smell an odor related to natural gas.
He said the gas company has “put something in the lines that is causing the smell” and that they are adjusting levels.
“But, if you’re alarmed, call the fire department and we’ll check it out,” he said.
• Heard from village administrator Russ McDonald, who said the pad has been installed for a new generator at the sewer plant and that the generator itself should arrive mid-month and work should be completed by May.
He said village workers recently completed trimming of low-hanging trees and said, if resident believe a spot was missed, to contact him and they will go back.
He said there was one water main break reported in the past month, due to a half-deteriorated pipe, which was repaired.