Rio Council talks code enforcement, alcohol

By Dean Wright -

RIO GRANDE — Rio Grande Village Council gathered Tuesday night for its regular meeting and discussed a variety of topics ranging from code enforcement, to alcohol in the village and safety practices with the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation.

The council has discussed the possibility of contracting Gallipolis Code Enforcement Officer Brett Bostic to assist in identifying areas of concern throughout the village that may potentially be in violation of its code enforcement standards.

“I’d go around and look throughout the village in regard to some of the property maintenance codes,” said Bostic. “I’d take notes and take pictures. That would be the first thing. The second thing would be to give a letter to a property owner or occupant. Some properties have landlords with tenants…We’d first notify tenants to (potential problems) and give them depending on a (potential violation concern) between five to 10 days to take care of it. If they don’t take care of it, we’ll come back in regard to notify property owners.”

Bostic said who maintains a yard may depend on contractual arrangements between property owners and tenants, but that any problems discovered he would first attempt to resolve it with the involved parties before referring an incident for potential legal action. He said fining does not always make a trash and debris problem “go away” though.

“My goal, and I think the goal of the council, is to get the problem solved,” said Bostic. “If we need to give them more of an extension, we’ll get them an extension… I know we have graduation with (the Rio Grande Community College and University of Rio Grande) soon. So, I know we want to get that area taken care of quickly and try to address issues because you’ll have people from all across Ohio and other states. You want them to come here and see a nice community that their kids spent four or five years at…The mayor came up and talked to me and said ‘I want some of these areas cleaned up.’ That’s what I’m looking at.”

Tom Clay, safety compliance officer with the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, spoke before the council about safety changes and rules with the state. He offered consultation services to the village and about the nature of the safety enforcement violation process. He said many of the standards he covered as a compliance officer were also in line with Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Rio Grande Mayor Matt Easter also asked village council members how they felt if a pair of wine vendors were allowed on-site certification to serve wine during the Rio Grande Farmers and Artisan Market over the course of the summer. Council member Scott Morgan voiced he felt if the village was going to attempt to place such an initiative on the ballot, that it may not be well accepted. He felt if one were to attempt to have more alcohol sales in the village, the council may as well open the issue to relaxing alcohol stipulations throughout the village and put it to a vote for the residents. Making the village “wet” as opposed to “dry” were terms used through the discussion.

Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.

By Dean Wright