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Council discusses ATV regulations, housing ordinance enforcement

WORTHINGTON — At the regular Worthington city council meeting Monday night, council members heard a second reading of a proposed ordinance to regulate ATVs on city streets.

Sgt. Brett Wiltrout of the Worthington Police Department researched and wrote the proposed ordinance, then made some adjustments after first presenting it to the council in February.

City council members have consistently supported the ordinance, and Monday’s vote was no exception. The reading passed unanimously.

Council also authorized plans and advertisement for bids on the Homewood Hills Street Improvement Project. The project was presented and approved at a public hearing April 10.

During committee reports, council member Alan Oberloh expressed a desire for the city to be more diligent about enforcing its rental housing ordinance. He said that Worthington has between six and 10 rental housing owners who are consistently out of compliance with the ordinance.

Oberloh said he discussed the matter with the city attorney’s office, and learned that the city of Worthington has a process put in place to enforce the ordinance adequately. The city, however, has not been consistent about following the process, he added.

The city can order a search warrant and conduct an investigation, including an order for the property owner to appear in court. If an owner does not appear, the city can put them in jail until they agree to let the city inspect the property. These measures are already put in place, but historically, the city has been reticent to use them.

Council member Chad Cummings agreed that better enforcement is necessary.

“It validates the people who have complied for the benefit of this community,” he added.

Oberloh also pointed out that the city attorney said if the city doesn’t enforce the ordinance uniformly and a rental property has a fire or other disaster, the city could be held accountable.

Oberloh suggested the city council conduct a work session to decide how to be more consistent in the future.

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