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WARREN PARKS Panel seeks more time

By Denise Dick

Friday, February 27, 2004

The addition of an assistant code inspector also is up for a council vote.
WARREN -- A committee formed to devise a plan for city parks wants more time to fulfill its mission.
An ordinance before council Wednesday would extend to Aug. 1 the term of the citizens advisory committee for parks.
Council passed legislation last March creating the committee and giving it up to a year to present recommendations to council. But by the time all council members had submitted their appointments and the committee actually formed, it was late summer.
The latest legislation extends the deadline to coincide with when the group's task actually started, said Council President Robert A. Marchese, who as a councilman at large had sponsored the legislation.
The city has 21 parks, some of which consist of only a small tract of property, and a handful of which haven't been opened for a couple of years.
The group is charged with recommending how the city should use the parks. That could include donating or selling some.
The recommendations are nonbinding.
"I think it's going well," said Tristan Hand, the committee's vice chairman. "It's a problem we've had for a long time, and there's no easy, quick way to fix it if we're gong to do it right for all of Warren."
The seven-member panel meets monthly.
Also on Wednesday's council meeting agenda is an ordinance that would authorize an assistant code inspector position in the health department.
The assistant, who hasn't been appointed, will help the code inspector with enforcing the property maintenance code.
"We have one code inspector for the entire city," said Robert Pinti, deputy health commissioner.
Property maintenance ranges from regulations on the length of a residence's lawn to downspouts, painting and improperly tagged vehicles.
"Property maintenance encompasses a very wide scope," Pinti said.
The position runs for one year; the roughly $40,000 in pay is coming from a Community Development Block Grant. Pinti said he also would apply for the funding for additional years if it's available.