(Posted March 15, 2018)
By Amanda Ensinger, Staff Writer
Mount Sterling council members unanimously passed legislation on March 12 that prohibits residents from accumulating clutter on their properties.
The ordinance prohibits outside clutter in the form of junk, rubbish, litter, debris, lumber, building materials, upholstered furniture, mattresses, and other similar products not normally designed or built for outside use.
Items cannot be stored, collected, parked, left, deposited, maintained, reserved or put aside for future use on any porch, balcony, roof, patio or yard. Items must be stored in a completely enclosed building or structure.
“I think this ordinance is pretty self-explanatory,” said Mayor Billy Martin. “However, let me explain further, we aren’t going to tolerate trash in the front of the house or porch.”
Council member Tammy Vansickle said the ordinance is necessary to help clean up the village.
“We have some residents complying and some aren’t,” she said. “We are willing to work with residents who ask for more time, but progress has to be made.”
The village also is working to be sure residents are paying their Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA) taxes. According to fiscal officer Courtney Bricker, this includes renters and contractors temporarily living within the village limits.
“No everyone knows this, and we are not collecting everything we should be,” Bricker said. “From now on, when a new resident comes into the village office to turn on their utilities, we are providing them with a welcome packet that includes RITA information. This should help in solving this issue.”
Village leaders continue to research ways to make their water billing more efficient.
“We are meeting with Washington Courthouse to see how they do their bills,” Martin said. “We need to get these problems fixed and are making progress, but it is slow.”
Martin said the village needs to have radio-read meters, so they don’t have to manually read meters, something they are trying to correct as soon as possible.
“We are making progress here, as well, and in January we had 172 meters that needed replaced,” Bricker said. “We are now only down to 88 that need to be replaced.”
Plans are coming together for several community events, including movie nights, a Family Feud-style competition, and an adopt-a-tree program.
“The movie nights will take place June 16, July 14 and Aug. 4 at the gazebo in the center of the community,” said Rebecca Burns, council president.
“The Family Feud event is still being organized, but we have a lot of people interested in participating. Businesses want to challenge businesses, families want to challenge families, and people even want to challenge council members.”
Council is looking into an adopt-a-tree program through which residents can purchase a tree for Mason Park.
For more information, visit www.mtsterling.org.