Whitehall News

City officials pondering need for additional pawn brokerage rules

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Whitehall officials are mulling over whether additional regulations are warranted for pawn brokerages.

Pawn brokers, which differ from pawn shops, buy gold and other precious metals that are sent off site for repurposing or smelting, Whitehall development director Zach Woodruff said.

Pawn shops buy property or hold property as collateral for loans, and they sell items similar to a retail store.

Pawn shops pay an annual licensing fee of $8,000 to Whitehall, but pawn brokers are not subject to such a licensing fee.

Whitehall City Council was expected to approve an ordinance Sept. 17, allowing a special permit for Advance America, 3739 E. Broad St., to purchase gold. Because it is not a pawn shop, the center is not required to pay a licensing fee to purchase gold.

The application is the first known instance of a business other than a pawn shop to seek a permit to purchase gold, Woodruff said.

"We are looking at this business use and determining whether additional business regulations are needed," Woodruff said, adding that he, city attorney Mike Shannon and service director Ray Ogden are in the early stages of reviewing the matter.

Whitehall City Council's committee reviewed the ordinance Sept. 10. The committee also considered Village Baptist Church's request for a special permit to hold worship services on property it owns at 4880 Langley Ave.

The committee also considered legislation that would levy assessments against property owners for the cost of city employees to perform required maintenance, such as mowing, and an ordinance authorizing the sale of city-owned property.

The city has found a buyer for a parcel on Broadhurst Avenue that the city was required to purchase more than a decade ago after it was determined, during an expansion project of the city's fire station, that underground fuel tanks had contaminated it, Woodruff said.

In other committee action, an ordinance amending the city's traffic code was advanced to the Sept. 17 council meeting, where it is expected to pass.

Eastbound drivers on East Broad Street will be prohibited from turning left, across westbound lanes of traffic, to enter a parking lot on the north side of East Broad Street, just east of Defense Supply Center Columbus.

Immediately prior to the Sept.10 committee meetings, Whitehall City Council held a special meeting to fast-track a grant application to resurface a majority of South Hamilton Road within city limits.

Council members voted 6-0 to authorize the city to apply for a grant through the Ohio Public Works Commission.

Applications are due Sept. 16, but the Ohio Public Works Commission won't score applications until December.

If approved, the city likely won't receive a funding agreement until next June.

The grant would pay 75 percent of the estimated $1.8 million to resurface South Hamilton Road. Whitehall would pay the 25 percent local match, which could be extended at no interest spread over the estimated 17-year life span of the project.

Comments