Wintersville preps for water, sewer work

ADDITIONS — Wintersville Police Chief Art Fowler, center, introduces James Harris, left, a new auxiliary officer for the village’s police department; and Lance Bickerstaff, a retired Steubenville police officer serving as the new school resource officer for Indian Creek High School, at Thursday’s Wintersville Council meeting. (Photo by Warren Scott)

WINTERSVILLE — Efforts to improve water and sewer lines in the Moon Valley area were discussed at Thursday’s Wintersville Council meeting, with one project set to begin next month and information to be gathered for another in the weeks ahead.

Council authorized Mayor Bob Gale to apply for about $1.2 million in federal Community Development Block Grant funds to repair and replace water lines along the following roads: Stardust, Rainbow, Milky Way, Skyline, Rex, Russell and Day Circle.

Village Administrator Walt Ziemba said to qualify, the village must present income information for about 135 affected households. He said council members or village employees will be going door to door over the next two weeks to survey those residents.

He said the information will be kept confidential but must be submitted for the village to receive funds for the project, which will involve resurfacing the affected roads.

Ziemba added the surveys also will be available at a public meeting for the project to be held at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 19 at Skyline Circle.

In the event of rain, it will be moved to Aug. 26.

Officials also are expected to offer an update at the meeting on the Phase V sewer project, which Ziemba said is expected to begin soon after Labor Day.

Border Patrol of Hopedale is the contractor for the $2.1 million project, which is being funded with a low-interest loan from the Ohio Public Works Commission to be repaid through a 4.5 percent increase in sewer rates in each of the next five years.

Crews will be repairing and replacing lines near Rex and Russell avenues, East Church Street, Two Acre Drive and the former Riesbeck’s store and lift stations at Ekey Street and Squirrel Hill Road.

Council also authorized Gale to apply for funds from the OPWC for the paving of Warren Lane, Grandview Drive and Alley A next year and the installation of new radio-read water meters that allow village staff to collect readings using equipment in their vehicles.

The paving has an estimated cost of $1.2 million, while the meters are estimated at $981,000.

In other business, council adopted the first readings of amended ordinances addressing parking in the village.

Ziemba said the ordinances were updated to address the problem of residents parking in bends and on both sides of streets, making it difficult for vehicles to pass.

Village Police Chief Art Fowler said the changes also reflect homes and hydrants that have been added since the ordinances were adopted.

Both he and Ziemba confirmed there also are a greater number of households with multiple vehicles.

Ziemba said signs may be posted, if needed, in areas where parking is prohibited.

In related business, Ziemba noted Parkview Drive has been reduced to one lane between Fernwood Road and Dana Lynn Drive but some drivers have been ignoring the signs.

Following the meeting, Ziemba said a retaining wall of railroad ties is at risk of falling onto the lane and an effort is being made to determine the owner of the wall, which is on private property.

Council members also expressed concern about speeding vehicles, particularly since Main Street has been repaved.

Fowler said his officers will continue to monitor the streets and cite those speeding.

Gale said an effort to curb the problem, a mobile electronic sign has been posted on various residential streets that measures and displays the speed of passing vehicles.

Also on Thursday:

¯ Fowler introduced two additions to the police department: Lance Bickerstaff and James Harris.

A Steubenville police officer for 28 years, Bickerstaff will serve as the school resource officer at Indian Creek High School.

Harris, who will serve as a part-time auxiliary officer, is an Edison High School graduate, Marine Reservist and college student studying criminal justice.

¯ Council President Robbie Martin asked about cleanup efforts at Garden Park.

Ziemba said a tree that topped onto a shelter there and the damaged shelter have been removed and a claim filed with the village’s insurance provider.

Gale asked him to get an estimate for a small gazebo for the site.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com.)


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