2010-02-06 / News

Union Township to tighten parking enforcement

By Scott Rawdon

HEBRON – Watch where you park in Union Township, particularly on Mill Dam Road between US 40 and Cristland Hill Road. Union Township Police Chief Paula Greene told the township trustees Monday night that Mill Dam Corner Grille patrons are parking within the Mill Dam Road right-of-way and it’s becoming a safety hazard. She said more and more people are parking on the east side of Mill Dam, opposite the club. “It’s pitch dark out there,” said Greene, who worries that passing cars may strike patrons as they cross the road at night. “If they’re parked out of the right-of-way, they’re fine,” she said.

Assistant Licking County Prosecutor Erik Fox, present at Monday night’s trustees meeting, told the trustees they could vote to charge parking violators with either criminal or non-criminal offenses.

Although it may sound harsh to refer to parking violators as “criminal,” classifying it as such would reduce paperwork. “Why reinvent the wheel?” said Trustee President John Slater. He said the trustees will make it clear in the resolution that most law enforcement officers will have the authority to place vehicles into impound if necessary.

Fox said if the vehicle is parked on the roadway, it’s a misdemeanor. If it’s parked safely off the road, it’s much tougher to cite a violation. He advised that the warning signs should prohibit parking and stopping because some violators have claimed they were merely stopping to argue their way out of citations.

“This is not to create revenue,” said Slater. “Hopefully, the signs will cure it.” He estimated the parking fine would be roughly $100.

In other township news:

• Slater said Licking County Water and Wastewater Department is extending a public sewer line under I-70 to serve the Pilot truck stop on the northwest corner of the Ohio 37 and I-70 interchange. As part of a proposed settlement with Ohio EPA for surface water violations across the state, Pilot Oil Corporation will $475,000 for the sewer line extension.

Licking County Water and Wastewater Department Director Kevin Eby said a pre-construction meeting was set for this week at the site to discuss project details and a timeline. He predicted work will begin later this month.

Eby added that the Pilot sewer extension could be extended further north and Ohio EPA may require some neighboring businesses to connect to it if it passes close enough to them.

Licking County Commissioner Doug Smith said the sewer line is being installed with “an eye toward future development.” The sewer line access below I-70 will be bored wider than necessary to accommodate a larger sewer line sometime in the future. “We looked at the big picture,” he said.

• Trustee Rick Black said he wants the township to create a website. Trustee Jesse Ours doubted many people would visit it, but Black said that all surrounding townships have websites that are visited often. He said in the past websites were expensive to create and difficult to maintain, but that has changed. The trustees agreed it would be easier to distribute information, forms, and a periodic newsletter electronically.

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