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Fireworks, development zoning go before Toronto Council

VARIOUS ISSUES — On Monday, Toronto Council designated zoning for the Mount Nebo area, made plans to develop a five-year plan for future spending and received an update on this weekend’s Independence Day celebration. -- Warren Scott

TORONTO — While discussion at Monday’s Toronto Council meeting included fireworks, it didn’t mean members were in a heated dispute.

Mayor John Parker advised members the city’s Independence Day pyrotechnical display has been scheduled for about 10 p.m. Saturday but could be moved to the same time Sunday if it rains.

Over the years it’s been customary for the fireworks to be held on a Saturday close to the holiday.

Parker said they again will be launched from the hillside above the city’s water plant, where they may be seen from many homes and other areas of the city.

The mayor and Kristen Willett, his administrative secretary, have been busy soliciting local businesses and others for donations for the display, which also was supported with about $16,000 in city funds allocated by council.

“We appreciate the generosity of many businesses, contractors and residents who have made donations. Without them, we would have no show,” he said.

Parker also wished to dispel rumors that this year’s fireworks would be the city’s last, saying there are no plans to end the yearly tradition.

Another is the Safety Day event involving several local emergency departments, including the city’s fire and police departments, TEMS Joint Ambulance District, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and provided they don’t have an emergency call, the STAT MedEvac medical helicopter crew.

City Fire Chief Bill Scheel said the event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the Toronto High School parking lot, where visitors will find several emergency vehicles and the county’s smokehouse trailer, which is designed to teach children proper evacuation of a smoke-filled structure.

Chick-fil-A and other food trucks also are expected to be there.

The city’s swimming pool will be open from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. that day, with disc jockey Rich Coburn on hand and its concession stand open for business. Admission will be $2 for anyone without a season pass.

The Biasi-Shuma 5K Run-Walk also will be held that day, with participants setting out from North River Avenue just outside the Clarke Hinkle Football Field at 8 a.m. Held in memory of the late Giano Biasi and Mike Shuma, the event will raise funds for the American Heart Association and United Way of Jefferson County.

Registration for the event, which is open to runners and walkers of all ages, may be done on that day or online at https://runsignup.com/Race/OH/Toronto/BiasiShumaMemorial5kRunWalk. Dry fit T-shirts will go to the first 150 to register.

Business before council on Monday included designating the Mount Nebo area as a R1 residential zone at the recommendation of Bill Lucas, who chairs the city’s planning and zoning committee.

Lucas said before suggesting the move, he consulted Calabrese Property Management, which is pursuing the housing development known as the Woodlands at Mount Nebo, about its future plans for the 13 acre site.

Plans call for a half-mile road to be extended from Nebo Drive to existing homes on Titanium Way, which also will be included in the new zoning designation.

Council members also supported a suggestion by 1st Ward Councilman Bob Bertram to establish a five-year spending plan for the city.

Noting such a plan had been developed in the past, Bertram said it would include timelines for the renewal of local levies and help to prioritize the replacement of equipment and other expenses assumed by city departments.

The task of developing the proposed plan is expected to fall to council’s finance committee, which is chaired by Bertram.

He announced the committee’s next meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. before council’s July 26 meeting. Council’s next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. July 11.

Fourth Ward Councilman Greg Herrick, who represents council on the Toronto recreation board, said that panel has chosen Troy Stewart as its president and set its future meetings for 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at the Karaffa Recreation Center.

The board is comprised of representatives of the city and Toronto school board and oversees the recreation center, which was formerly Karaffa Elementary School.

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