Roadside memorials given 45 days
The idea of drafting legislation to address the issue of memorializing friends and family members on roadsides has been dropped in favor of new rules within the city's existing nuisance laws. (Click on the headline to read more)
The city will allow roadside memorials to be displayed on city property - utility poles and the devil strip - for 45 days. City workers will then remove the mementos and offer them back to the family.
"We understand the grief that brings about and is reflected in roadside memorials," said Council President Marco Sommerville. "There's no good way or right amount of time to do this. I know that city workers will be respectful and sensitive as possible.
"I encourage family and friends to make their loved ones final resting place their memorial. That is what cemeteries are for."
Sommerville's full-time job is funeral director and owner of Sommerville Funeral Home.
The process for erecting and removing roadside memorials is as follows:
- The 45-day limit will begin when a resident or city employee reports a roadside memorial by calling the 311 information line or 330-375-2311.
- During the 45 day period, a city customer service representative will attempt to contact the family to explain them of city law and give them the opportunity to remove the memorial or items they wish to preserve.
- After 45 days, city workers will remove and bag the memorial items and store for two weeks.
- During the two week period, a customer service representative will again contact the family to offer family members an opportunity to collect the memorial items.
"It is important that our residents understand the law pertaining to roadside memorials and the process for their removal," Sommerville said. "Please show respect for the one who was memorialized as well as the city workers who are removing the memorial. Keep in mind that the family has been notified of the removal, has had the chance to gather the items they wanted to preserve, and will still have the opportunity to collect all of the memorial items for two more weeks."