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Businesses spruce up park

A FRESH LOOK — The owners and staff of Economy Lawn Care and East Ohio Asphalt were landscaping Steubenville’s Pocket Park near Market and North Fourth streets this week using mulch and other materials donated by the local businesses. Among those at work on Friday were Mark Doughty, back, co-owner of East Ohio Asphalt; and staff member John Dettorre. -- Warren Scott

STEUBENVILLE — A small park in the city’s downtown business district has gotten a fresh look thanks to the contributions and efforts of two local businesses.

Crews with Economy Lawn Care and East Ohio Asphalt were landscaping at Pocket Park this week.

“It’s nice of them to do this because the city has a lot to do in keeping up the parks,” said 4th Ward Councilman Scott Dressel as he watched crews lay new mulch around the benches in the park, which is near Market and North Fourth streets.

Dressel noted many workers at nearby businesses use the benches and a picnic table there to enjoy lunch or read during breaks from their workday.

Mayor Jerry Barilla said though it’s small, the park is important because “It offers outdoor seating and a serene setting at the core of our city.”

He expressed thanks to the two businesses while noting Apollo Pro Cleaning and Restoration frequently cleans the park and trims its trees.

Barilla noted visitors to the park also can enjoy a mural there depicting a recreation center that stood on Adams Street from the 1930s to the 1950s.

He said the center included a swimming pool and activities ranging from sewing classes to chess and in those days of segregation, it served primarily local Blacks.

Barilla said a penny depicted by the mural reflects another unfortunate part of the center’s history: the Great Depression.

He explained children paid a penny to receive a lunch at the center during those days of extreme poverty.

Mike Petrella said he and Mark Doughty will be opening East Ohio Asphalt’s downtown office in the near future.

Petrella said they are happy to help the city.

“We always want to give back to our community. And this is a great place to help,” he said, adding, “We want to make sure this stays beautiful for the public to use.”

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

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