PANDORA – Residents are expected to properly maintain their properties, or the village will have it done for you – at a cost.

During the June 26 council meeting, the issue was raised about weeds and grass getting out of control in the village. Village Administrator Rick Morrison discussed a property on North Jefferson Street with weeds that had grown three to four feet tall. Morrison had given the resident a chance to correct the issue as the village ordinance allows for a seven- day warning period for residents to comply before any action is taken. The resident asked for an extension which was granted. The resident had disposed of the junk on the property and was starting to show progress, Morrison said.

Morrison was keeping an eye on the property and recently, he drove past the residence and noticed most of the property was taken care of except a small section. Village staff came in to finish cleaning up the area and the resident arrived on the scene and was “fired up.” The resident was upset because the area that was left was being prepared for a fence. Morrison said other residents complained that the area was not cleaned up sooner, noting the resident had the seven-day warning period. Morrison said he tries to work with residents in these situations.

“We’re a small community – we can show compassion,” Morrison said.

An ordinance passed in 2011 states that all exterior property and premises shall be maintained in a clean, safe and sanitary condition. It also says garbage or other kinds of salvage cannot be stored on any premises except where permitted by zoning. Upon learning of the violations, the code official shall issue a written notice to the resident giving them 10 days to remove the offending articles. A $205 administrative fee will be issued for the work performed by village staff and a $75 reinspection fee if authorized. If the resident fails to pay the fees, the village has the right to seek the county auditor to place the fees upon their taxes.

Last year, council approved an ordinance dealing with grass, weeds or brush. The ordinance states all areas within the village – vacated or non-vacated – shall be cut, mowed and maintained not to exceed seven inches. The measure states the village administrator “will attempt to provide notice” to the property owner within seven days.

“Said notice shall not be a prerequisite for village action but is proposed as a courtesy to property owners,” the ordinance states.

For those residents who fail to maintain compliance, the village will charge that resident $100 per hour for a minimum of two hours per occurrence. They can also be fined up to $50 for the first offense and $100 for subsequent offenses. Mayor John Schlumbohm noted there are people willing to help those who are struggling cutting their grass if a resident is unable.

Meanwhile Fiscal Officer Kim Norris said Putnam County Auditor confirmed what a 1 mill would bring in for a fire levy. The millage at that rate would bring in a total of $19,541.73 annually. The village funds one-half the cost of the Riley Township Fire Department which covers the village. Council will need to approve a second resolution committing the measure to the Putnam County Board of Elections. The resolution has to include the time limit for the levy and if it should be retroactive to be collected in 2019 or 2020. Council will have to act in August to get the measure on the November ballot.

In other business, council:

• heard Morrison’s report that the annual town-wide pickup day held June 16 at the community center was a success and three dumpsters were utilized and he praised the youth who assisted with the event.

• heard that bids for the Washington Street project included four bids with the low base bid coming from Schimmoeller Construction. Council asked for clarification regarding the bids and no action was taken.

• heard the annual Night Out will be held Aug. 7 in Bluffton.