By Allison Deutschman
Do you have an opinion on ways to improve Youngstown? Let it be heard.
Many village residents are not attending public meetings and their opinions are not as easily represented, elected leaders said.
In an attempt to better serve the Youngstown community, the LWRP, or Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, has sent out a survey to those living in the village in the attempt to receive feedback. The information collected will help members of the committee better understand who specifically is residing in Youngstown, what they currently enjoy, and how the area can be improved to fit their needs.
This questionnaire is released every 20-25 years. It is, therefore, especially important responses are collected, as it will serve as a guide of sorts over the next two decades.
Deputy Mayor Tim Lockhart noted the initial deadline for feedback has been extended. Therefore, residents are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity, fill out the paperwork and send it in with the included prepaid envelope.
"It is imperative, as citizens of Youngstown, to grab your sheet and get your opinion in," Youngstown resident Gary Beaty said. "It will shape how things are done for the next 25 years and it drives money, funding, grants and change. Tell your neighbors, if they've got them to mail it in. This is your chance to express what you feel."
One of the issues discussed over the past few months at the Village Board meetings has focused on Water Street parking. With many locals and visitors partaking in overnight boating adventures during the warmer months - leaving their cars behind in the process - valuable parking spaces have been tied up while those people are out on the water - possibly miles away. This has made it difficult for others to find closer parking during the day, discouraging some from coming to Water Street all together.
The board amended Law No. 2-2015, section 232-12F, pertaining to the maximum length of time a vehicle can remain in the angled parking spaces "immediately south of the dry hydrant on the east side of Water Street, extending south to the southern tow away zone." Between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., local law enforcement officers will use tickets and possibly towing to dissuade loitering motorists as they closely monitor the two-hour limit.
This is just one example of the improvements made due to community concern.
The controversial "no-burning" policy was further discussed at Thursday's Village Board meeting. Recommendations from the public were provided for a variance allowing small campfires, addressing what explicitly produces noxious fumes, specific size requirements and more.
As a result of continued debate about the code amongst those in the village, including board members, a new or updated law at a public hearing will be presented, but now it has also been determined the legal wording is extremely important.
"I don't think we should do this quickly and find out three years from now it wasn't done correctly," Youngstown Attorney Tom Caserta said.
Due to the cancelation of previously scheduled monthly board meetings June 25 and July 23 (largely because of community conflicts), there is no specific timeline in place for when the ruling will be updated. The existing law dates back to 1965.
The next Board of Trustees meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 11, in the Village Red Brick School, 240 Lockport St.