MARTINS FERRY The city took stock of various repair and infrastructure improvement projects during Thursday night's council meeting.
Mayor Paul Riethmiller could not be in attendance, but sent his written compliments to Service Director Charles Bennett, the city employees, fire and EMS departments, and volunteer city residents for their work cleaning up after the storms last weekend.
The city park was particularly hard-hit, with several of the oldest trees lost. The city will replant and move forward, while being grateful there were no injuries.
Thanks were also extended to Mayor John Callarik of Bridgeport and his company for donating time and equipment to assist in removing stumps and resetting five sections of sidewalk.
In other matters, Bennett reported on recovery efforts after the high winds of June 29. Trees and large limbs blocked streets and caused several power outages. Crews were out and working immediately. After four hours, traffic resumed and American Electric Power began restoring electricity. Subsequent days saw cleanup efforts at the park and cemetery. The American Legion was thanked for providing lunch.
Additionally, he noted progress on the water drainage issue on Hickory Street.
Also, Bennett noted the city is continuing efforts to deal with empty and unkempt lots and property. They were not cutting more than 40 lots.
Also, repairs to the water plant roof began Monday.
Safety Director William Suto reported the Vigilant fire truck will be repaired after an accident on Ohio Avenue while responding to a fire.
Also, he noted the fire department will hold a golf scramble Aug. 18 at Crooked Creek Golf Course, starting 8 a.m.
In other matters, Councilman Bruce Shrodes reported a Service Committee meeting June 26. They are working on an updated property maintenance code to bring before council. Also, they noted the need for a licensed home inspector. He noted an online course has been found.
Citizens brought several matters before council, asking that the ordinance requiring dog owners to clean up after their pets be enforced. In addition, the high poke weeds at Mackey Avenue are creating a traffic hazard.
Citizens also inquired about the planned demolition of about four dilapidated structures, which was hoped to be completed by June. Bennett noted that the city was working from a county grant and the officials have moved the timeline.
In other matters, council held the second reading of an ordinance to establish bid criteria for construction and repair projects.
Council held the first reading of an ordinance authorizing the code administrator to participate in the Moving Ohio Forward grant program.
Council also motioned to enter into the state salt program for the purchase of 300 tons of salt added to the city's current stockpile of 480 tons in preparation for the winter months. The cost of the 300 tons comes to $21,000 or $70 per ton.
Council granted Butch Miller of Quality Motor permission to hold a car cruise in Sept. 8 to benefit a young man battling cancer. They will close South Zane from Hanover to Hickory, and Walnut Street from South Zane to 7th Streets, 3-11 p.m.
In addition, council moved $10,000 from the general fund into the Street Department in order to continue street repairs and patching.
A citywide crime watch meeting will be held in September.
A code administration meeting will be held Monday, 6 p.m.
The budget for 2013 was approved, totaling $11,182,173.
A grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the newest business in town will be held July 17, 2 p.m. The ceremony will be held on the site location on North 1st Street above the RG Steel Mill.
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