By Lasca Randels
LEESBURG — Restrictions on long-term living in campers will likely be implemented in Leesburg in the near future.
The issue was discussed at the Leesburg Town Council meeting Monday, June 8.
According to Leesburg Council President Doug Jones, the issue initially started with a complaint about a family who is renting their home out while the family resides in an RV in the back yard.
“We have no place in our ordinances where we specifically use the name ‘campers.’ We have mobile homes and trailers, house trailers. Is a camper a house trailer? Is a camper a mobile home?” asked council member Tom Moore.
Jones pointed out the issue with sewage, stating that the holding tanks in campers cannot be pumped into the town’s sewer system.
“So the question then becomes, how are you discarding your waste?” Jones said.
“I don’t think it should be allowed. I don’t think you should be allowed to turn a travel trailer into a permanent residence without it being connected to our town sewer system in a permanent kind of way,” Council Vice-President Christina Archer said.
Council members discussed how to determine what is short term and what amount of time is acceptable.
“Somebody may have their children come and stay with them for two weeks at their house and park their camper in their driveway,” Jones said. “Is that acceptable?”
Council members mulled over a 14-day limit on living in campers. Town Attorney Vern Landis was asked to look into the matter and draft an amendment to the town ordinance regarding mobile homes and house trailers.
The subject will be revisited at the next meeting.
Another issue discussed involved at the meeting involved a home in town that reportedly has multiple dogs.
“I think over 20 was the number,” Jones said.
Jones asked if council would like to establish an ordinance since the town does not currently have one limiting the number of pets allowed in a house.
“No,” Moore said immediately. “I’m not about to get in the business of telling people what they can do in the inside of their house.”
“If it’s not creating odors or excessive barking or something else that would have to do with one of our ordinances, I really hate to get involved with it,” Archer agreed.
Leesburg Street Commissioner Craig Charlton mentioned the incident in Silver Lake where a homeowner was criminally charged in March after 56 dogs were removed from his home.
“At some point you’re going to have a health code issue,” Charlton said. “We don’t want to be controlling, but at what point do you go from controlling to protecting the homeowners?”
Moore said in the event that it becomes a health issue inside the home, the county board of health can intervene. He said if the animals are running loose outside, there is already an ordinance against that.
After some discussion, council agreed they would not do anything at this time.
Jones told council members that the hard drive of Leesburg Clerk-Treasurer Michael Searfoss’s computer had to be replaced recently.
The machine is in good operational order, Jones said, but is eight years old. Jones said he believes at this point a new computer should be purchased for Searfoss and the recently repaired computer should be moved to the deputy clerk station.
Jones then said he had submitted a bid for a new computer from his company, Master Mind Computers.
“The bid is for $1,129. That is for out the door, everything switched over, ready to go,” Jones said. “This is a conflict of interest item and I have no problem whatsoever if other bids need to be submitted or taken and there won’t be any hard feelings — in fact I would almost rather somebody else did it, but I’ll leave that up to you guys.”
“You can say it’s a conflict of interest. I would disagree because we signed conflict of interest statements and it isn’t,” Moore said. “It’s perfectly normal for this to take place.”
Council approved the proposal for a new computer from Master Mind Computers in the amount of $1,129.
The K21 Foundation pledge of $200,000 for projects that focus on health and wellness opportunities was brought up, with council members focusing on walkways and bikeways.
Moore said they need to get pricing quotes from a couple of different concrete contractors.
“I’ve been looking and there’s a lot of properties that have zero sidewalk,” Moore said.
Charlton said the sidewalks are the responsibility of the homeowner and suggested the town could pursue this and actually fix the sidewalks at those properties and bill the homeowner for the repairs.
“Let’s just say the liability of a treacherous sidewalk is the responsibility of the homeowner. It’s not the town’s responsibility,” Charlton said.
Council members agreed to put together prints of what their plans are and present those plans to K21 Foundation for approval.
- A budget workshop has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, June 15.
- Buckeye Power Sales submitted a proposal for a new generator switch to be used at the main lift station, in the amount of $5,623.92. This was approved.
- The town garage sale and town cleanup days are still taking place. The town garage sale will be held June 12-13, and town cleanup days will be June 26-27.
- The next regular meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. July 13.