Cadiz Postal office mulled

CADIZ — Village officials said Thursday they are pushing U.S. Postal Service officials to establish a temporary office in Cadiz after the suspension of operations at the village’s post office over the weekend due to structural concerns.

Mayor Ken Zitko addressed the situation during Thursday’s village council meeting. The post office, which closed Saturday, has had issues since early summer, due to the front wall of the building separating from the foundation and sinking into the ground.

The wall was braced to help slow the damage, and a geotechnical survey was done to determine the next step in assessing the condition of the building. A study showed unstable ground led to further structural damage, with cracks forming throughout the building’s walls and floors.

To ensure the safety of residents and employees, the postal service decided to suspend operations at the Cadiz location.

Since then, Zitko said he has been working with a small group to communicate with state and federal officials to find a solution to the situation. The group includes Village Administrator Charley Bowman, Cadiz Community Improvement Corp. President Mike Sliva and CIC board

member Ken Mason.

Zitko said the committee has been communicating with postal service officials, as well as U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, to try and work out a solution.

“We’re looking into it, and being very proactive,” Zitko said. “We’re trying hard to get a temporary office, at least.”

Zitko noted that even though the village, CIC and others are working hard to get a temporary post office established, getting a permanent building is still far down the road. Councilman Mike McPeak said village council, like other residents of Cadiz, had very little warning about the closure, and were just as surprised as everyone else.

“We’re all putting a lot of time into it,” Bowman added.

In other business, Village Solicitor Costa Mastros spoke to council about legislation that would allow council to declare dilapidated buildings as public nuisances. Under the legislation, property owners would be given a chance to rectify the issues before council deems a structure a nuisance.

Such a declaration would allow the village to demolish run-down structures, instead of letting them continue to be eyesores and safety issues.

“It’s a problem everywhere,” Mastros said. “It would be just another legislative tool for us to use.”

Councilman Thomas Crawshaw also brought up the possibility of allowing a medical marijuana dispensary to set up shop in Cadiz, pointing out the Steubenville City Council voted this week not to renew its moratorium prohibiting such a facility in their city.

Crawshaw pointed out that medical marijuana is legal in Ohio, whether or not city leaders agree with it, and a dispensary in the village would bring several jobs as well as income tax to the area. Crawshaw stressed such a dispensary would be treated as a pharmacy, and any marijuana would be prescribed purely for medical purposes, as recreational marijuana is still illegal in Ohio.

“I just want us to be proactive,” Crawshaw said. “We need to look down the road.”

Mastros and Bowman said that they will do some research and look into the particulars of zoning such a business.

The next meeting of Cadiz Village Council will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 20 at the municipal building.