WINTERSVILLE - Village residents apparently have accepted Steel Valley Regional Transit Authority's invitation to "Come ride with us."
Frank Bovina, general manager of the SVRTA, appeared before council Thursday to encourage the village to become part of the SVRTA's regular service route.
"Steubenville and Mingo Junction are already part of the regular routes and we would like to include the village of Wintersville into those routes as well," he said. "We will need a resolution passed by both Steubenville and Mingo Junction allowing the village to join and we will also need a resolution signed by the village."
The SVRTA bus routes first began in the village in 2010, with all ridership free for a year, Bovina said. In 2011, a $30 annual ridership fee was initiated.
"Even though we had to start charging for the rides, ridership has still been increasing each month," he stated. "We really feel as though this is a successful venture in the village."
Council members also heard from concerned residents Sondra and John Boilegh regarding Walnut Park.
"Ever since the village put in restroom facilities on Locust Street, I have been very concerned about crime, vandalism, who's going to clean it, and why I wasn't notified in advance," Locust Street resident Boilegh questioned. "I am concerned with drug deals and I just don't understand the reasoning behind putting a restroom facility 500 feet from my home."
Mayor Bob Gale reassured Boilegh that cameras will be installed around the new facility and police will be present in the area.
"We have been working on the restroom facility for three years and we believe that this is the most practical solution for Walnut Park," he explained. "We have a very nice park and the facilities will be maintained and cleaned by the village. We don't want to keep a Port-O-John at our nice park, and we want to enhance the usage of the park with the right facilities.
"Regarding the criminal activity, we all know that can happen anywhere," he continued. "But we will keep the police force down there checking things out and also checking the security camera."
In other matters, Thunder in the Ville Chairman Tom Straka was on hand to ask for a $4,000 contribution for the annual event. Council approved the proposal.
"We will be holding the event on June 29 and 30 at Treasure Island Flea Market, with opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. on June 29 and fireworks at 10 p.m. on June 30," he said.
Village Administrator Walt Ziemba then updated council members on Phase I of the wastewater treatment plant update.
"We will start advertising on June 28 for the updates, which will include electrical work, clarifiers, belt presses, pumps and blowers," Ziemba explained. "We will open the bids on Aug. 1. We are hoping to have the project started by late September."
He then provided an update on the Fernwood Road sidewalk project.
"Concrete has been poured and we are about half way done with the concrete and about three-quarters done with the block on the retaining wall," he said. "We are hoping the project is finished by the end of next week. Things are going smooth and it looks really good."
He concluded by telling council members about the paving project between the village and Cross Creek Township.
"We received a $133,000 grant and the villages will have to put in their share as well," he stated. "The village will have to pay $75,000."
Council awarded the paving job to Lash Paving for a total of $243,781.65.
In other business:
Ziemba announced the spring cleanup will resume for the next three Mondays.
The summer parks program will begin on Monday and continue through July 27, it was noted. The program will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Ziemba said if any additional children are interested in applying, parents can contact the village office.
The next council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. June 21.