City Council modifying scrap metal proposal

WARREN – An effort to stop copper and aluminum thefts from buildings continues today when a City Council committee will discuss modifying the city’s salvage legislation proposal to allow city residents up to three free permits.

Councilman Eddie Colbert, D-7th Ward, hopes to pass legislation next month that would make it more difficult for people to sell copper pipes and wiring, and aluminum siding without proving they have the legal right to sell it.

“What we are trying to do is slow the rate of, if not stop, the theft of copper pipes, wiring and aluminum siding,” he said.

Council’s legislative committee will meet at 4 p.m. today in council chambers to discuss moving the proposed legislation to full council for consideration. Under the proposal, people wanting to scrap one or more of the three items will have to show scrap yards permits to prove the obtained the material legally.

Because city residents have the right to remove all of these items on their own without obtaining permits, Colbert is modifying the proposal to allow the property owners can obtain up to three free permits to scrap the items.

Colbert said he is attempting to address the concerns of a local scrap yard owner that the legislation would put them at a competitive disadvantage because, if passed, scrap yards outside of the city will not have to demand to see permits from people scrapping these items.

Niles Councilman Stephen Papalas, who has been sitting in some of the meetings, said he would like the city to talk to other scrap yard dealers.

“I would not want to do this without the input from area scrap yards, and, really, without their help.”

Niles Councilman Ed Stredney Jr., head of the city’s legislative committee, is expecting to take a copy of Warren’s legislation to Niles City Council for that council to discuss whether to pass similar legislation.

Colbert said once the area’s two largest cities pass the legislation, they plan to work with Trumbull County Commissioner Frank Fuda bring convince other communities to pass similar laws so every scrap yard in the county will be following similar rules.

“We eventually want to have state Sen. Capri Cafaro and Rep. Tom Letson take this proposal statewide,” Colbert said.