Ferry planning parking project

MARTINS FERRY City council reviewed numerous infrastructure projects during its Wednesday meeting.

At the request of Mayor Paul Riethmiller, council approved the use of $36,000 from the permanent improvement fund to complete the off-street parking project located between the Pit Stop and car wash. The low estimate includes concrete, fiber, clear coat and stripping.

There are 23 lots, each generating $15 yearly for an annual total of $4,150. Revenues generated will be designated repaid to the permanent improvement fund, with the stipulation that the project will not begin until the city attorney confirms anything more than $50,000 does not have to be bid out.

Regarding the water department, Well No. 2 has collapsed, with an estimated repair bill of $23,000. The screen may have collapsed. Also, the media has been replaced in Filter Bed No. 1. Media in Filter Bed No. 2 is expected to be removed next week.

The motor at Walnut Street pump station was rebuilt and is working properly. Also, three beaks were reported last month on a waterline from Floral Valley to Patton’s Run.

A plug on the corner of Washington and Elm Street is on a four inch lateral and is required to be on a six inch. Safety Director William Suto suggested replacing it. The water department hopes to eventually begin pressure testing the plugs to color code them.

In other matters, demolition using Moving Ohio Forward is completed, with five houses taken down. CDBG money may be available to demolish two more. If so, that would be the end of demolitions for the year.

Council Member Robert Duncan noted the importance of taking a firm stand on the excessive litter in town. Suto agreed, noting that residents are permitted only three trash cans with lids.

Riethmiller reported the lights leading up to the high school and across Alumni Road have been reactivated after having been turned off by mistake.

In other matters, Service Director Charles Bennett reported two more breaks along Route 7 last month. City employees are commended for their fast response and thorough work.

Hot asphalt patching has begun at Zane and Highway and is nearly completed, with other areas to follow.

In addition, repairs from all the digging in the cemetery has also started. Almost 20 tons of top soil has been used, with plans for further work.

The street sweeper has also started up. Tickets are being handed out for the next two weeks, with fines being imposed April 29.

Also, the last stage of concrete has been poured at Fodor Field, including some drainage work, nearly completing the last phase of the ball park project. The restroom renovation is also nearly finished. Officer Tom Siburt was commended for his work.

Also, Development Director Kathy Wade-Gagin reported receiving JB Green Team grant checks for 41 park benches and the second annual Pitch-in Day is set for June 15. She is working on two Department of Natural Resources grants due May 1 and a law enforcement grant due May 20. Preparations for the state audit are underway.

Robert Scarfpin, resident, brought up an ongoing dispute with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio regarding an inordinate number of riders on citizens’ electric rates. He noted the number of senior citizens on fixed incomes in the area. Riethmiller said he contacted American Electric Power and was informed there would likely be further riders.

Council approved allocating $27,000 from permanent improvement into the ball park project. Last year the council approved $30,000 from the permanent improvement from upgrades and the Lions Club contributed the wall, paying $27,000 through the city for block and stone.

A finance/ordinance committee meeting will be held May 6, 5:30 p.m.

The street committee will meet April 29, 5:30 p.m.

Flags will be displayed on the cemeteries May 25-June 4 and for Veterans’ Day.

Council held the first reading of new property maintenance codes. Copies will be available at he mayor’s office and city Web site.

Council held the first of three readings of an RV park ordinance.

Hydrant flushing will begin Sunday, 10 p.m.-6 a.m.

DeFrank can be reached at rdefrank@timesleaderonline.com