Rossford moves to ban clothes donation bins
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer
Thursday, 26 December 2013 09:42
ROSSFORD - City Council Monday was in a mood to clean up.
The council considered to resolutions to ban clothing collection boxes from the city and to make sure that after snow storms sidewalks are cleared.
Councilman Jerry Staczek has been pushing for months to have the city act against the collection boxes that dot the city. He has complained that the boxes aren't emptied and the clothing spills out. Also, people put other items not intended.
While the boxes owned by Planet Aid seem to be a good-will effort to help people, they are actually scams, Staczek said. Last month he distributed a packet of material based on his own internet research, that documented national problems with the Denmark-based company Tvind.
The clothing collected, he said Monday, is bailed and shipped overseas where it is shredded and used for insulation.
He said there are at least seven boxes located through the city.
Law Director Kevin Heban said originally city officials considered addressing the problem through the zoning ordinance, but decided instead to ban them altogether in the city's code.
Heban said some cities have tried to make distinction among groups such as Planet Aid, and true charitable foundations, usually church-affiliated. But those have complicated enforcement, he said.
So the Rossford ban would apply to all collection boxes, even if Goodwill, which has a storefront in downtown, were to install one.
Caroline Eckel moved that the council pass the measure, but Robert Ruse questioned whether city officials have warned the owners of the boxes that action would be taken.
Council President Larry Oberdorf said the matter has been discussed and that the information gathered by Staczek was compelling.
Still Dan Wagner, who just joined council, said he would like more time to look at the packet, and Joe Minarcin who was selected to fill a vacancy on the board last week, said he had not received it.
Wagner said another week with attention in the local press would be good.
Also presented to council was a resolution to toughen up the city's regulations on shoveling snow from walks.
Residents and landowners have 24 hours after the snow stops to get walks cleared.
The city's zoning inspector, former mayor Mark Zuchowski, did an inspection after the most recent storm and found 94 percent of the properties were cleared.
However, the 6 percent that were not were disproportionately vacant, rentals or foreclosed, said City Administrator Ed Ciecka said.
At this point the police will deliver a "courtesy" letter reminding that the walk needs to be cleared. Often by the time the process has run its course the snow has melted.
He said the recent death of a woman in Northwood after the snow shows how serious the issue is.
The new law will allow the city to send official warning and then clear the walk and put a charge on the property's tax bill.
Ciecka said that in order for banks to take action they need a formal notification from the city.