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Not all Flushing residents on board

Some not using village’s garbage service

FLUSHING — Village officials recently said they are aware of a number of households that still are not using the village’s contracted garbage service, which was put in place to keep heavy garbage trucks off of village-maintained streets.

During his monthly report, Village Administrator Bryan Clark appealed to residents, speaking of the village’s years long effort to establish an ordinance requiring the use of a village-contracted service for trash pick-up and the subsequent spending of the village’s license plate tax money to fix the worst streets last year.

Clark named several streets — including Bank Street, Wood Street, Northwest Street, Markatan Street and Stratton Lane — where tandem axle garbage trucks belonging to non-contracted garbage carriers have been seen.

“We did our part now we need them to do their part and help us get those heavy trucks off the streets,” Clark said of residents still using other services. “We used all that we had to pave what we paved.”

Mayor Angelo Vincenzo said he had 15 addresses of residents believed to be in violation of the ordinance.

Councilman John Jozwiak said, “Let’s do something about it!”

But Vincenzo replied that without an established mayor’s court it is up to Ohio Valley Cartage, which won the contract to be the exclusive garbage carrier in the village, to enforce its exclusivity. Vincenzo added that letters are being sent to those who are not in compliance.

Councilwoman Sandy Twarog spoke in favor of the village’s contracted carrier, saying, “I think this company we have now is very very good.”

Councilman Randy Twarog and Clark both espoused Ohio Valley Cartage’s pricing and service.

Clark said that at Twarog’s request he had received a bid to fix the cracks, seal and coat the walking track as well as the basketball and tennis courts at Schuler Park. Clark suggested that the project be tabled due to the price of $7,176 being more than the park budget could handle.

Vincenzo agreed that the village could not afford to pay for that right now, but added, “At some point we’re going to lose what we have if we don’t do something. This isn’t something we’re going to table forever.”

When asked about gas and oil money that had been set aside for the park, Fiscal Officer Jeryl McGaffick said, “We’re eating that alive. We’re going through it so fast. Our monthly expenses are more than we bring in, and always have been.”

McGaffick suggested setting up a park district as a means of bringing in more state money to maintain and improve the park.

“A park district can work if you have the right people involved in it. We just have to make a decision at some point,” Vincenzo said.

At Clark’s request, council approved the expenditure of $3,200 to install a security system in as well as move the village’s computer system into the former Harrison Hills Clinic that will soon be home to the village’s offices. Clark said that the work would be done by Zach Gust, who has been hired by the village to handle such work for the village and police department.

Council also scheduled a Police Committee meeting to interview for a part-time police officer position for the village and discussed the ongoing need for seasonal or part-time help with the anticipated loss of a key village crew member to another job.

Members agreed they would make efforts to hire part-time seasonal help at $10 per hour with the possibility of transitioning into a full- or part-time year-round position. They also agreed to raise the pay rate of current seasonal employees to $10 per hour.

At Jozwiak’s request, McGaffick and Vincenzo said they would talk to officials with the Belmont County Land Reutilization Corp., commonly referred to as the land bank, to get a financial breakdown of its dealings with the village and Dollar General concerning the former Flushing school properties to see how much village money is still being held by the land bank.

The land bank was directly involved with the village in dealing with the Flushing school buildings and property that had fallen into disrepair. It eventually was able to facilitate the asbestos abatement and demolition of the structures, which was paid for with money from the sale of part of the property to Dollar General. The company opened a new store on the site last year.

McGaffick informed council that its meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. July 11 would be the public hearing for next year’s budget and that since the budget has to be turned in to the Belmont County Budget Commission by July 15, it is important that they have a quorum present at the meeting to approve the budget.

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