Buena Vista residents to hear financial impact of new lines

STEUBENVILLE – Buena Vista residents lobbying for water line improvements in their neighborhood will learn Monday about a personal financial commitment to the project.

Fifth Ward Councilman Willie Paul will meet with Buena Vista Boulevard Extension property owners at 5 p.m. Monday at the Jim Wood Park shelter house to discuss the possibility of installing a new water line and what it may cost residents to tie into the new line.

Paul has argued for the city to accept a $150,000 from the Governor’s Office of Appalachia and the Ohio Development Services Agency for improvements to aging water lines and the replacement of fire hydrants in three city neighborhoods and commercial areas.

“There are four different areas identified for water line improvements, but the least expensive project is the Buena Vista project. I am asking council to reconsider this issue. I feel we should go forward with this project at this time. This is an easy fix and the least expensive,” Paul has said.

“I understand there are water problems all over the city. But this is one thing we should do in the Buena Vista subdivision. They have a 1-and-3/4-inch water line out there while the rest of the city has 6-inch water lines,” Paul said.

Paul said replacing water lines at the far end of Buena Vista Boulevard and adding three fire hydrants to that area would cost $210,500.

But City Law Director S. Gary Repella said the project also may involve obtaining right of way rights from property owners.

“There are private streets in that neighborhood. And the property owners will have to run a lateral from their house to the curb box. The city has never paid for a lateral from the residence to the curb box. The total cost for this project could be more than anticipated. Everyone out there should be prepared to pay for the homeowner’s responsibility. And if we find lead water lines they have to be taken out and replaced to bring the lines up to code,” said Repella.

“I suggest you have a meeting and tell the residents what the city is thinking about doing. People could then figure out how much of a lateral line they will have to run and what it will cost,” Repella added.

Mayor and Acting City Manager Domenick Mucci said the city has until Sept. 23 to officially accept or decline the state grant.

“Council will have to make a final decision on whether or not they want to proceed with this project by Tuesday night,” Mucci said.

Resident Tammy Sweeney said her house water line is tied into four other houses and water pressure is always affected by someone using water.

City Engineer Michael Dolak said the city isn’t sure how some of the existing water lines are run in the neighborhood.

“We will have to investigate where the water lines are now and determine how a new line will be run,” said Dolak.

“We can tell you where the water lines are located. We know where they are,” replied Sweeney.

“What happens if we go over the $300,000 budget? That is what scares me. I understand the problem. I just have a hard time encumbering the city with more debt,” stated 2nd Ward Councilman Rick Perkins.

In other business Tuesday night, Mucci announced a planning meeting for the Buena Vista recycling test project is set for 4 p.m. today in the City Hall Pugliese Conference room.

“Any Buena Vista resident interested in discussing the recycling project is welcome to attend the meeting. We will also have a community outreach and will schedule neighborhood meetings prior to starting the recycling later this month,” said Mucci.

Perkins asked Mucci to talk to the civil service commission to schedule entrance exams for the various city department jobs.

Third Ward Councilman Greg Metcalf introduced an emergency ordinance for the acting city manager to apply for a grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission for 2014 street paving project legislation and an emergency ordinance to contract with Direct Energy for the city’s electrical power services.