Panel weighs train derailment warning system

The Law and Community Planning committee approved the creation of a resolution that would allow further action on creating a train derailment warning system in Tiffin at the meeting Thursday.

John Schupp suggested the system at a council meeting last week after explaining the need of such a system in Tiffin.

The system would allow for notifications that could be broadcasted to affected areas in the form of sirens or spoken instruction. It would also have sensors along the track that would automatically signal the system if an item such as chlorine gas is spilled.

The warning system is focused along the downtown area and the two college campuses.

Fire Chief Bill Ennis asked whether the system could be tied into the student warning program on each campus.

He was also concerned about where the responsibility of long-term maintenance would fall.

Mayor Aaron Montz said he would like to see whether the companies were willing to pay for the system. He said he was concerned about the system triggering a false alarm.

“I think it’s a great idea in theory, if we can make it work,” he said.

Schupp said, at this point, the project is a proposal to both companies.

The committee approved a motion to create a resolution in support of the concept Schupp has drafted.

The committee also discussed the additions to the Maintenance Code.

The proposed change comes from the recurring issue that occurred when one person wanted to fix a portion of their property and could only access it through their neighbor’s property, but the neighbor would not let the other

individual on their property.

Due to disputes that city has dealt with in the past, the change would give a minor misdemeanor charge to a property owner not giving permission to the other to maintain their property.

Montz said that residents were not losing property rights, and instead it would help property values by giving residents the ability to maintain their property.

“We’ve had numerous issues, and if anything, it’s just going to increase property values,” he said. “People with this situation will be able to fix their properties. It’s just sad that we all can’t be neighborly and can’t get along.”

Ennis said that the change was necessary and that it was an ongoing issue. He also said that it was a safety factor, and that property needed to be fixed.

The committee approved a motion to allow Howard to write up the necessary legislation.

City Administrator Deb Reamer also spoke about the fee for hauling rubbish for the city of Tiffin.

She said the fee has not changed since 1965.

After research into several other cities’ hauling fees, Reamer suggested raising the fee to $25 per truck or a flat rate of $200 if the $25 per truck exceeds that amount each year.

The higher fee would give the city about $550 more a year for trash hauling.

The committee approved a motion to bring legislation to council.