Martins Ferry To Begin Enforcing Rental Law

Martins Ferry plans to start enforcing an existing law on its books with the hope of garnering more money for its coffers.

During a Martins Ferry City Council meeting Wednesday, council approved an amended version of a 2009 ordinance that states rental property owners must register their properties. Under the revised ordinance, rental property owners must start registering their properties by April 15.

Councilman Jack Regis Sr. abstained from voting on the measure. He said he believes council should have allowed the amended ordinance to go through the usual three readings process. Council voted to dispense of the three-reading rule.

Councilman Bruce Shrodes said related paperwork soon will be available at the auditor’s office on the second floor of the city building on Fifth Street. Per the revised ordinance, those who do not register their rental properties will face a $150 fine.

Each time a property has a new tenant, the landlord has 30 days to file a report with the city giving the renters’ names and addresses. The city also must be notified when a tenant leaves.

After the meeting, City Attorney Paul Stecker said the purpose of the ordinance is to help the city collect more income tax, in addition to helping provide information to law enforcement, if needed.

“The intention of the ordinance is to make sure we’re catching all of the residents who are living in the city so we are collecting income tax from them,” Stecker said.

The income tax is the city’s biggest source of revenue at about $1.5 million annually.

Meanwhile, it was announced that Mayor Robert Krajnyak called and said he was sick and could not attend the meeting.

Also, Boy Scout Mason Kyer, 17, of St. Clairsville, plans to hold a rededication of the Civil War cannon at noon Sunday in the historic Walnut Grove Cemetery. Kyer raised money to replace the chassis on the cannon as part of his Eagle Scout project. The carriage was made and installed by Steen Cannon and Ordnance Works of Ashland, Kentucky.

Kyer, a scout with Troop 59 in St. Clairsville, is the son of Curtis and Brenda Kyer.

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