Panel approves arch repairs

STEUBENVILLE – The city’s Historical Landmarks Commission approved plans Friday to refurbish the North Fourth Street Historical District arch near the Franklin Avenue and North Fourth Street intersection.

Urban Projects Director Chris Petrossi told the commission members an engineer has inspected the steel archway and estimated repairs and a new coat of paint will cost approximately $25,000.

“I know our commission Chairman Scott Dressel has volunteered to paint the arch but our engineer would prefer to have a professional painter handle the job because that contractor would be responsible for traffic control,” said Petrossi.

Dressel has been lobbying for the arch to be repaired and painted for several months now.

“We need to get this arch painted and plan on repainting it every 10 years. It is a beautiful sign that marks this neighborhood as historic but the paint is flaking and we need some work done on the arch. I had the Valspar paint representative look at the sign because it is cast aluminum. He recommended putting a primer coat on the metal and then painting it,” Dressel said in a July interview.

“People are investing money on this street. This neighborhood has been stabilized and is now improving. We hope the improvements will start spreading to other streets and neighborhoods. People in the historic district are taking pride in their properties,” Dressel said during the interview.

Petrossi said several historic light poles in the historic district need replaced or repaired.

“The arch and the light poles need to be painted every 10 years to maintain them. Maybe we can have property owners adopt the light pole in front of their house,” said Dressel.

Petrossi said he will submit the repair and painting plans to the Ohio Historic Preservation Office for approval.

“We are probably looking at starting the project in the early spring,” noted Petrossi.

He also reviewed plans for the streetscape project that includes replacing broken signs in the historic district.

“The assistant city engineer and I took a walking tour of the historic district and identified the signs that are missing or broken. And we had an arbor expert from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources come in for a tour of the downtown area and the historic district. She will give us plans for trees in the overall district as well as the historic district. We will coordinate any planned tree plantings with the ODNR to make sure the trees are appropriate for our area,” explained Petrossi.

In other business, Dressel proposed a list of historic district property owners who have made improvements to their residences or buildings to be recognized by the Historical Landmarks Commission.