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Wintersville cancels spring cleanup

WINTERSVILLE — In a Wintersville Council meeting held by teleconference, Mayor Bob Gale said Thursday the village’s annual spring cleanup won’t be held because of the pandemic.

Gale said the village is considering a fall alternative, including possibly establishing dumpsters at a central location where residents could bring larger refuse for a limited period.

The mayor noted the cleanup usually involves five Jefferson County Jail inmates, who won’t be available due to virus concerns; and five part-time summer workers.

In anticipation of declining revenue spurred by shuttered businesses and furloughed residents, village officials have ordered a hiring freeze, impacting summer help and the filling of a vacancy in the sanitation department.

Gale noted the village’s staff continues to be scheduled on separate shifts to reduce potential exposure to the virus.

He said a state-ordered suspension of late fees for delinquent water and sewer bills will end with June’s bills. Gale expressed sympathy to those out of work but said the village must collect payments needed to fund those services.

The mayor said he and other Wintersville officials continue to monitor the village’s finances but don’t expect the pandemic’s full impact until August because county tax collections have been extended to July.

In other business:

¯ Gale said a resident of Orchard Street has asked for speed bumps to be installed there, saying speeding is a problem even with the street’s many potholes.

The mayor said speed bumps aren’t suited on the road, in part because they will affect drainage.

Gale said the street will be repaved when crews finish extending waterlines there. He added any property damaged during the work is to be restored by the contractor.

¯ Village Administrator Walter Ziemba said crews are expected to proceed in June with a $2 million project involving the replacement of sewer lines and two lift stations in the Moon Valley area,

Ziemba added Cadiz Road has been added to the village’s paving plans, while the Ohio Department of Transportation has received bids for Main Street from Kroger to Wendy’s and Fernwood Road, though it’s not clear when that work will begin.

¯ Council agreed to enter into a two-year electric aggregation plan with Volunteer Energy that the Treble Corp., the village’s energy broker, said will result in lower rates for the village’s residents than its current electricity provider.

¯ Council appointed Councilman Jason Mattern and residents Bob Lauckert and Tom Ossio to represent the village on the Seven Ranges Fire District board.

¯ Gale said he’s been invited to speak at a Memorial Day service to be held by American Legion Post 557 at noon at Fort Steuben Burial Estates. To encourage social distancing, plans call for the service to be aired live on the post’s Facebook page.

¯ Council agreed to postpone its next meeting until 7 p.m. June 18. It will again be held by teleconference, with the community to be notified about how to hear it live before it’s posted to the village’s Facebook page.

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