Niles to get comprehensive plan

NILES — City Council on Wednesday took the first step toward creation of a new comprehensive plan for the city — a project for which the city has budgeted $100,000.

“It’s a big expense, but it’s something that should be done periodically,” said Mayor Steve Mientkeiwicz. “It’s something that most progressive cities in and around Trumbull County take part in.”

Council approved advertising requests for proposals for the plan, which Mientkiewicz said may be done through a private firm or through the Trumbull County Planning Commission.

The city’s last comprehensive plan is from 2003 and was created by the Planning Commission, Mientkiewicz said.

“It’s time to update that plan,” he said. “It’s going to be a collaborative effort. We’re going to have involvement from the administration, we’re going to have involvement from city council, and of course involvement from our citizens.”

Mientkiewicz said the city of Warren recently created a comprehensive plan, and the process took about a year and cost approximately $100,000.

“But they had input from everyone,” Mientkiewicz said.

He said in talks with Warren Mayor Doug Franklin, Franklin seemed happy with the result.

The Niles comprehensive plan will look at updating zoning ordinances, analyzing infrastructure and creating solid plans to make improvements. He said the plan will include exploring areas for growth, which falls in line with the current plan to annex areas of Weathersfield and Howland that use Niles utilities such as water, sewer and electricity.

For the third consecutive meeting, dozens of protesters from both townships attended the council meeting, silently holding signs or wearing anti-annexation t-shirts.

In other business, the city of Niles is expected pay just under $2,000 in a goodwill agreement with a resident who claims her driveway was damaged in a September water main break.

Mientkiewcz said the water break happened underneath the sidewalk of the resident’s Brentwillow Drive home, and crews had to excavate the sidewalk in the driveway approach.

“It was nothing that we let the water run or were negligent,” said Mientkiewicz.

Usually, city crews repair residents’ property damaged in the containment of water breaks, Mientkiewicz said, but in this case the resident was already planning on having her driveway redone. The homeowner provided three quotes for the partial repair, and the city will foot the bill for the section for which it is responsible.

Walter’s Paving will do the project for $3,200 — with the city covering half of that, or $1,600, plus $320 for concrete.