Steubenville in need of lifeguards

STEUBENVILLE — Efforts to open the Belleview Pool on Memorial Day may be hampered by the lack of qualified lifeguards.

City Manager Jim Mavromatis reported Tuesday night the city received one application for the summer lifeguard jobs at the pool.

“I have met with Steubenville High School Principal Ted Gorman who introduced me to the school swimming coach and she feels confident she can find certified lifeguards at the high school interested in working the summer at the pool. I will also talk to the principal at Catholic Central High School to ask about potential lifeguards. But the bottom line is if we don’t have enough lifeguards, we can’t open the pool,” Mavromatis said at the City Council meeting.

“Everything else at the pool is looking good. The trees around the pool have been cut down and most of the stumps have been removed. The sliding board is coming down. We still need to paint the pool but the volunteer work has accomplished a lot,” noted Mavromatis.

In other matters, Mavromatis announced he has appointed attorney Costa Mastros as acting law director effective today. Mastros has served as assistant law director and has filled in on an interim basis since Law Director S. Gary Repella retired.

Mavromatis said three attorneys have applied for the law director’s job.

Council heard third readings for several ordinances, including legislation to vacate portions of Wells, Third and Bates streets and an unnamed alley near the former Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. Steubenville plant entrance.

The Pilot Flying J Corp. plans to construct a fuel and service center at the site once the streets are vacated by the city.

Council members, at the April 4 meeting, approved a rezoning request from River Rail Development for 4 acres of former steel mill property adjacent to state Route 7 set for the service center.

Plans for the service center were publicly unveiled at the Feb. 5 planning and zoning commission meeting.

“We are planning to build a travel center that will be a little smaller than you see on the interstate highways. We will provide fuel and services to the public and professional drivers,” said Project Manager Brad Alsup in February.

The travel center will be located at the state Route 7 entrance to the former steel mill property.

“We will start construction at the property as soon as all of the paperwork is approved, probably in mid-May or early June. We have a contract to purchase the property from River Rail Intermodal Terminal,” continued Alsup.

Alsup said approximately 20 people will be employed at the travel center.

According to John McDonald of River Rail, “this is a great thing for Steubenville.”

River Rail bought the former Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. Steubenville plant in 2012.

“We started with two employees and now have 50 people working at our site. We have been working on this project with Pilot Flying J for the past two years. We are very pleased with this project,” noted McDonald.

According to the Pilot Flying J website, the combined network of more than 650 Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers across North America serves more than 1.3 million guests daily.

In other business:

¯ Council approved a resolution proclaiming this week as Catholic Schools Week in the city and a resolution amending the employee table of organization to allow the hiring of nine part-time seasonal workers.

¯ Sixth Ward Councilman Bob Villamagna introduced resolutions, including recognition of Peace Officers Memorial Day on May 15 and May as Motorcycle Awareness Month.

Villamagna also asked the administration to look into a call system to notify residents of any water boil advisory.

“I would also ask the city manager to take steps to curb the speeding and a temporary ban on parking on Bryden Road while the Lovers Lane construction work continues.

“We have a $2 million job under way at Egan Hall on the Franciscan University of Steubenville campus, a $7 million project on Lovers Lane, $6 million at the renovation project at Holy Name Cathedral and a $2 million project set for Harding School. I have also been told the Microtel Hotel has converted some of their rooms into office for oil and gas companies. We need to make sure we are collecting the city income tax from all of the people on these projects,” Villamagna stated.

¯ Members heard from several city residents during the public forum, including Sandi Rue who asked for lighting at the crosswalk on University Boulevard near Brady Avenue.

Toni Dear asked about what will happen to residents’ trash cans, and Mavromatis said the city will pick them up if they are placed next to the city’s new 96-gallon containers when the new sanitation program starts this year.

And Jeffrey Hawkins asked about future plans for Piece of Pie Park.

“Are we going to do anything with that park because the kids on LaBelle have no where to go to play?” said Hawkins.

(Gossett can be contacted at