Ferry council talks waterlines, filters

MARTINS FERRY City council addressed infrastructure needs during Wednesday’s meeting.

Service Director Charles Bennett reported continued work in pothole patching in alleys and streets. He added that two more water breaks were reported on North Ridge during the past two weeks, making close to 10 breaks this past year in the 1,600-foot section. The engineer is working on a cost estimate to replace it before paving is addressed.

Pipe replacement at Crawford Heights is expected to begin within weeks. The city is also obtaining estimates on an area of Adams Street destroyed by a water break. It has been closed to traffic.

Water Superintendent Craig Harris updated council on the state of the malfunctioning filter beds. He said numerous tests on the media have not yet determined the cause of the problem. The engineers from Infilco, which built the unit, will continue tests and examine the ozonation process, including the feed into the filter beds, too determine if a surplus or deficit of ozone is the cause. They will also compare unreplaced media.

Mayor Paul Riethmiller asked that Harris keep a record of the hours employees have been working on the filters so the city can bill the company.

“It is their fault all these issues are happening,” he said. “That’s my opinion. I think we need to bill them.”

Also, Harris reported that the Woodmont Street pump station is facing close to daily issues of the pump kicking out. He said both pumps are in need of immediate attention. At least one motor should be removed and rebuilt at a cost of $1,200.

Well No. 4 is also having electrical issues. Parts have been ordered and will be installed.

Fire hydrants are being painted.

Council Member Chris Cleary noted the need to work out a consistent Twitter notification system to alert citizens in the event of a waterline break.

Regarding the park district, Manager Larry Deaton reported the district has passed next year’s budget. He added that pool season has been poor overall so far. The season ends Aug. 16. The roof of the park building has been repaired.

He noted that since the district has no director or 501c, it is unable to apply for grants for upgrades. Council members will schedule a meeting and discuss options.

Reithmiller added that the building is not for sale, though organizations can lease parts of the facility.

Council members noted instances of uncut grass in the city.

In matters of cemetery and public relations, Council Member Robert Krajnyak reported that the Summer Youth Work Program is working in Walnut Grove Cemetery weekly. The cemetery committee will meet July 22, 6 p.m. to determine if the city can continue to maintain the cemetery or if it should be contracted out.

A guest reported that the corpse of a deer injured on the Fifth Street exit was left on the site for several days during the Independence Day holiday. Bennett apologized and reported that a miscommunication delayed the response.

Also, ODOT should complete work on the sidewalk by Fifth Street by summer.

Council motioned to close South Zane Highway from Hickory Street to Grant Avenue each evening from 6 p.m.-midnight during the Betty Zane Days festival, Aug. 6-10.

Council passed an ordinance creating a cemetery capital projects fund.

Council passed a resolution declaring an intent to participate with OMERESA for cooperative services for Fiscal Year 2014.

Council motioned to allow the director of the local Relay for Life to work with the police chief to determine which intersections should be closed during the Aug. 7 race.

A service committee meeting was set for July 24, 5:30 p.m.

Council passed a motioned honoring Jennifer Sargus, who has served as judge of Belmont County Common Pleas Court.

DeFrank can be reached at rdefrank@timesleaderonline.com