By TOM GIAMBRONI
ROGERS - The increase in Amish families moving to the Rogers-Negley area brings with it new challenges, and one of those is what to do about the large steaming piles of manure left behind by the horses that pull their buggies.
The issue was brought up at last week's Village Council meeting by Bill Crawford and Barbara Todd, who said manure piles are often found along village streets and in the parking lots at the local Save A Lot and Dollar General stores frequented by their new neighbors.
"It's really a problem," Crawford said. "It's everywhere."
Todd, who lives on Farr Street, said the Amish coming from the Negley area cut through her street on their way to the Save A Lot and Dollar General, with the horses leaving manure piles in their wake.
They said there should be an ordinance requiring the Amish clean up after their horses, but someone suggested it would have to apply to all domesticated animals, such as dogs.
"We really don't have an ordinance on that," said Councilman Tom Chambers, noting the influx of Amish families to the area from New York only began this year.
"This is new to us," he said, adding the village solicitor would be asked to investigate the law and whether an ordinance can be drafted to address the issue.
Councilman Michael Hunt said Ohio's other Amish communities, which are popular with tourists, have designated parking areas for buggies and other rules the Amish seem to abide by.
The local Amish already appear to do what they can to minimize their impact by parking at the rear of the Save A Lot when shopping at the supermarket. Council said it is up to each business to determine whether they consider it a problem and address the situation.
"So, if they want the business, they can clean up the business?" Crawford quipped.
The meeting marked the first with new Village Solicitor Luke McConville, who was asked by council to attend rather than participate via Skype as originally anticipated. The Skype option is a way to limit expenses since McConville lives in the Cleveland area and begins billing the village when he leaves and until he returns.
McConville was brought on board because he is solicitor for the village of Newburgh Heights, which uses a traffic camera system to catch speeding motorists, and council is considering hiring the same company, Optotraffic LLC.
McConville addressed the issue at this week's meeting, saying he has reviewed the proposed contract with Optotraffic and would have something for council to approve at its July meeting.
There are several challenges to the law currently before the Ohio Supreme Court over whether motorists are being denied due process under the law because the camera-generated traffic tickets are initially handled directly by the village instead of going to municipal court, although offenders can appeal the decision. McConville believes there may be some validity to those legal arguments, but changes can be made to address the issue.
In other business, council hired Matt Carnes, the son of part-time street superintendent Homer Carnes, to help his father keep up with the weed-whacking duties in town. The 16-year-old Carnes will be paid minimum wage.
Chambers said that although the village is not participating in the county chip and seal program this year due to limited finances, they do have enough money to purchase blacktop to fill in potholes, which is what they intend to do sometime this summer.