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Published: Thursday, 8/28/2003

Tough cleanup rules put in place


SWANTON - Swanton residents who litter their lawn with junk cars and don't keep their grass trimmed will face a fine of up to $100 a day, village council decided this week.

Council unanimously passed its first nuisance ordinance that specifically addresses yards; other nuisance ordinances are written for buildings in disrepair. This week's ordinance was passed as an emergency so that it would go into effect before the weather turns cold.

Village administrator Jon Gochenour said he would write to three or four property owners this week, advising them of the new ordinance and giving them 30 days to clean up their properties before proceedings begin.

Also this week, council:

w Informally agreed to delay a $2.3 million expansion of the sewage treatment plant - scheduled to have started last month - to early 2005.

Village leaders have been torn in choosing among alternatives for the treatment plant on South Street, Mr. Gochenour said. The plan to start work last month was made two years ago.

But Mr. Gochenour said the work was delayed until 2005 instead of next year because leaders want more time to analyze funding sources. Council has planned to apply for a 20-year loan at 3 percent interest from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

The loan is to be paid back with sewer bill receipts and perhaps a supplement from the general fund. Council likely will consider raising sewer rates, which the EPA has said are lower than average, Mr. Gochenour said.

w Approved a step toward annexing 17 dwellings southwest of the village on Holiday Lane in Swancreek Township. Property owners have requested the annexation because they want village water. The total assessment for extending water lines to the area is $45,000; it is to be divided among the property owners based on their frontage.

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