STEUBENVILLE - City Council will consider an ordinance at next week's regular council meeting that will eliminate a police captain position and add a police dispatcher to the department in order to put another officer on patrol.
Sixth Ward Councilman David Lalich introduced the measure Tuesday night during council's sunshine meeting.
City Manager Cathy Davison recommended the elimination of the captain's position following Capt. Paul Harbert's resignation last week from the police department.
"The hiring of a police dispatcher will allow us to put the night turn sergeant back on patrol instead of working the dispatch desk," said Davison.
The table of organization ordinance also eliminates the parks and recreation summer food kitchen staff and summer food program coordinator.
Recreation Director Troy Kirkendall had recommended the elimination of those jobs because the recreation board has approved contracting the annual summer food program to Sodexho Food Services.
Lalich also introduced two ordinances authorizing city officials to seek loans from the Ohio Water Development Authority for work on the city's wastewater plant and a sewer line project on University Boulevard.
The finance committee met last week to hear a proposal by City Engineer Michael Dolak and Finance Director Alyssa Kerker to apply for a $3.4 million loan from the Ohio Water Development Authority for the wastewater treatment plant upgrades project slated for this year.
"I am asking for the appropriate legislation to be sunshined and approved as an emergency next week. That would allow us to apply for the loan in late May and award the bid in early June," Dolak explained.
Dolak said the University Boulevard sewer line project, also scheduled for this year, will cost approximately $1.2 million, "and we may apply for a loan through the OWDA for that work as well."
According to Kerker, "having this loan puts us in better financial shape with our cash reserves. We will be in a better position in case of an emergency."
An emergency ordinance authorizing the city manager to contract with Insight Pipe Contracting to proceed with emergency repairs to a 55-by-35-inch brick sewer line beneath the Ohio side entrance to the Market Street bridge was proposed by Lalich.
"We are preparing to award a $66,380 emergency repair contract to repair 220 feet of the brick sewer. We need to repair this as soon as possible," Dolak said.
Lalich also introduced a resolution honoring the Franciscan University of Steubenville rugby team for finishing third in the nation during the past weekend in Glendale, Colo., at the National Division III Men's Collegiate Championship.
Council met for 45 minutes prior to the sunshine meeting to complete a review of the city's strategic plan and Councilman at large Kenny Davis renewed his call for a senior citizens center in the city.
"Senior citizens want a place just for them. It is hard to play cards in one room at the Martin Luther King Recreation Center when a basketball game is going on in the gym. I think a place for senior citizens to socialize is very, very important. And maybe the only way to get a senior center is through partnering with Trinity (Health System) and PrimeTime," said Davis.
Fourth Ward Councilwoman Angela Suggs urged publicizing senior citizen activities at city facilities.
"The PrimeTime Office on Aging is offering senior services at the MLK Center. And during the summer months we offer water aerobics classes at the Belleview Pool. I am not sure what else we can do at this point," said Davison.
The council and administration also discussed training for the city employees as well as a community emergency preparedness plan; improvements to the North End and Belleview parks and tot lots; and the city's finances.
Council will meet in a closed-door executive session at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to review current contract negotiations with the Fraternal Order of Police Ohio Labor Council and in open session at 7 p.m. to review a possible four-day sanitation collection schedule.