Update given on city plan progress

STEUBENVILLE – The city’s Comprehensive Plan Implementation Committee members learned Tuesday the healthy lifestyles subcommittee is preparing a community resources book to inform residents of available programs and agencies.

Fred Brower, chief executive officer of Trinity Health System, said city Health Commissioner Shaleeta Smith and the subcommittee will meet today to continue building a broad group.

“In addition to the work Shaleeta is doing, the YMCA and Trinity are creating a health zone to connect everyone to a common system to get available services. We have been advertising our efforts and posted the information on our website to attract more people,” Brower said.

Urban Projects Director Chris Petrossi informed the Implementation Committee members the city has applied for a $750,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant for a personal air monitoring program.

“The device will allow interested volunteers to monitor the air wherever they are. They can then use an app on their smartphone to compare the results. If we are successful in obtaining this grant, we will need to involve the academic community in the program such as Ohio University, Franciscan University of Steubenville and Eastern Gateway Community College. This would be a good program to educate people about the air they breathe,” explained Petrossi.

Petrossi has told committee members City Council officially approved an adopt-a-lot program and now is looking into a tree program for the city.

“We have a forester from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources coming to the Sept. 8 planning and zoning commission meeting. We will be talking about how a structured tree program can benefit the city,” added Petrossi.

Petrossi also said a Facebook page called PlanSteubenville is available on the Internet with photos and information from the committee meetings.

Evan Scurti, executive director of the Jefferson County Port Authority, said he has had conversations with private landowners regarding “creative land assembly and cooperative marketing.”

“My role here is to make the city ready for economic development. Our goal is to help put together large development zones,” said Scurti.

“This particular area has quite a few dynamics. Our goal from the city is to keep everyone informed,” said Mayor Domenick Mucci.

City business owner Mark Nelson said the trails and greenways subcommittee met Monday and walked part of the trail.

“We have learned the Union Cemetery board has denied access to ride or walk on their roadway. We are looking at an urban bike trail that would start at Beatty Park and proceed on Lincoln Avenue to Fourth Street then shift to Third Street where riders can visit the Historic Fort Steuben, then back to Fourth Street to Franklin Avenue. The university has given us permission to use the closed portion of Franklin Avenue and then proceed to Belleview Park. From there the bike trail will go through several neighborhoods and then back to Beatty Park. And we are now able to map the bike trail,” said Nelson.

“Steubenville will also be part of the U.S. Bike Route 50, which is quite an honor. That national bike route runs from Baltimore to San Francisco,” cited Nelson.

The committee members agreed to hold their next meeting in October during an evening session to involve local students.

And, City Manager Tim Boland suggested the committee prepare a year-end report, “on where we are with the implementation of the city comprehensive plan.”

Mucci stressed the new comprehensive plan was created by the ideas and concerns expressed by city residents.

“I encourage the citizens and business community to stay involved and attend our meetings to provide input,” Mucci said.

(Gossett can be contacted at dgossett@heraldstaronline.com.)