Steubenville Council will get to work on budget

MARINA DISCUSSION — Dr. Tina Cutone and Abigail Gilman, 15, chat with Councilwoman at large Kimberly Hahn about possible improvements to Steubenville’s marina following Tuesday’s council meeting. -- Linda Harris

STEUBENVILLE — City Council will begin working on its budget for 2020 in two weeks.

To get the process started, Fifth Ward Councilman Willie Paul scheduled a finance committee meeting for 5 p.m. Aug. 27.

“We tried to start at this time last year, then we had the water situation, and we didn’t get back to it until late October or so,” said Paul, who chairs the finance committee. “We want to try and get started early. That way we can talk it out, and hopefully be done by mid-November.”

Finance Director Dave Lewis said he hopes to have “a solid draft” ready to present to council by then.

The budget workshop will be followed at 6 p.m. by an Economic Development Committee meeting, Sixth Ward Councilman Bob Villamagna said.

Villamagna, who chairs the committee, said members of the Jefferson County Port Authority will be in attendance.

“They want to discuss current appointees and restructuring the Port Authority,” he said.

Villamagna urged council members to take note of properties in their wards that could be considered ‘shovel-ready.’

Villamagna also said the volunteers who cleaned up the Market Street trough “did an outstanding job, they cleaned the whole thing out in front by hand.”

Singled out for their efforts were Larry Gerber and Gerald Ravasio, who organized the project; Bill Reed, Frank Nation, Patricia Freeman, Roger and Linda Hilty, Dan Iacavone, Scott Wells, Franco Carapellotti, Tina M. Chambers, Marcia V. Sublecki, Robert Donnely, Bernard Ravasio, Mike Ravasio, Bob Fabian and Peppy Price.

First Ward Councilman Gerald DiLoreto renewed his call for something to be done about the city’s weed problem,

“It’s a disgrace,” DiLoreto said. “Some are higher (than me). Let’s start cleaning them up a little bid and have a little pride in it. It’s our town.”

Councilwoman at large Kimberly Hahn told council the inaugural Battle of the Bands generated a total of $1,569.80 for the participating schools, Big Red and Catholic Central.

“It was an amazing day,” she said, “about 77 degrees and the water was calm. It was such an uplifting experience.”

Each band received a check for half the fundraising total, or $784.90.

“It showed a lot of people the possibilities there,” she said.

Ted Gorman, Big Red principal and the new president of Steubenville Baseball Association, told council the group’s goal is to “get kids who have left our community to play for whatever reason” to sign up for Steubenville.

“We want to work with parks and recreation,” Gorman said. “We want to be part of the solution.”

City Manager Jim Mavromatis said organizers of the open air market would like to start an hour later, at 10 a.m., and run to 1 p.m.

Council heard the first reading of an ordinance amending the zoning ordinance from public/semi-public to B1, Central Business District, and approved a budget amendment for the Jefferson Belmont Regional Solid Waste Authority. The change paves the way for the SWA to purchase a new building at the industrial park.

Hahn also scheduled a recreation committee meeting for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 3.