Toronto talks water project

TORONTO – The city’s new water line project and demolition of a city structure were discussed during Monday’s City Council meeting.

Mayor John Geddis said the city’s expansive water line replacement project most likely will begin within the next 30 days. He said residents should expect some traffic delays during construction.

“There could be some traffic problems, especially near the schools (on Dennis Way),” said the mayor.

Geddis also said the funding is there for the project, and the city has to replace the antiquated system while funds are available.

“This is something we have to do,” Geddis said, noting there will be some inconvenience for some. “All in all, I hope it all goes well.”

In other matters:

Councilman at large Bob Anderson said he’d received complaints from nearby residents about traffic during dismissal from the city school district’s new junior/senior high school. It was discussed some students and parents are parking on streets near the high school.

Geddis said he is aware of the problem, and he’s discussed it with City Police Chief Randy Henry and Fred Burns, city school district superintendent.

“(Burns) said it’s going to work out, and (Henry) said it’s going to work out,” said the mayor. “There are enough parking spots there (at the school), according to Mr. Burns.”

Councilman at Large Ron Holmes said part of the problem is parents arriving early to pick up students from school and parking in spaces reserved for student and faculty parking.

“Some of them are (arriving at school) to pick up their kids an hour and-a-half early,” said Holmes, adding the problem is adding to traffic congestion in the area.

Holmes also said Burns is aware of the problem, and the superintendent is urging parents not to arrive too early.

Geddis said the former Youth Harbor at the corner of North Fourth and Clark streets is owned by businessman John Riley and not by the city. Geddis also said Riley is planning to demolish the structure.

“I’m glad he’s doing it,” said Geddis. “God bless him. I wish more (owners of dilapidated city structures) would (demolish their buildings). If anyone tells you that building is owned by the city, it’s not true. I don’t know if (Riley) has any plans for that property.”

Several council members also brought up the former Lincoln School, noting nearby residents are complaining about the condition of the school.

“I like the family that owns that building and what they want to do with it,” said Geddis, adding specifications for any demolition would have to be drawn up. “It could cost $100,000 to tear it down.”

The Petras family, owners of Lamplight Communities, owns the property and had planned to build an assisted living facility there. The mayor said he isn’t sure what the plans for the property are, but it does need some maintenance.

Council passed the proposed 2014 city budget. A public hearing on the budget was held prior to the council meeting.

It was announced the city pool is now closed.

City Auditor Joe Motto said officials from the Regional Income Tax Authority will be in the city Thursday. The agency had issued subpoenas by mail to some residents who hadn’t filed R.I.T.A. income tax forms or failed to pay taxes.