Schuler Park traffic concerns addressed in Flushing
FLUSHING — Village officials recently discussed the best way to limit vehicle traffic to some areas of Schuler Park amid concerns raised by Village Administrator Bryan Clark and Police Chief Paul Leek. During a council meeting held on April 8, Clark said that a cable that had once kept cars from crossing the dam was no longer in place and that a lot of people were driving their cars out to the back side of the pond. Clark said the ground was soft in that area and could get torn up by the traffic while Leek voiced his concern that a car would end up stuck in the soft ground or end up in the pond. A number of options were discussed about the best way to stop the traffic, with Councilman Tom Bober saying people would drive through the grass to bypass a barricade while Councilwoman Sandy Twarog and Mayor Angelo Vincenzo wanted to make sure the pond remained as accessible as possible to the elderly and families who wanted to fish there. It was eventually decided to table the matter until the May meeting so those who wished to could go look at the area being discussed first-hand. It was agreed that Clark could cable off two other access points near the tennis and basketball courts, but that Councilman Chad Sutton, who heads the Flushing Junior Sports program as well as Flushing Fire and EMS would need to have keys since that area is used as a landing spot for life-flight helicopters. Mayor Vincenzo informed council that Premiere Asphalt in St. Clairsville had quoted him a price of $5,049 to fix and seal both the walking trail and the basketball court at the park, noting that a previous quote to do so was nearly $10,000. Vincenzo said they would also reline the basketball court as part of the job and after a brief discussion, council voted in favor of having the work done by Premiere. Councilman Tom Bober noted that with lumber prices currently being elevated, now might be a good time to have some trees in and around the park harvested as a means of getting some money for the park fund. Bober specifically suggested that the pine trees on the hillside along State Route 147 were large enough with Mayor Vincenzo and the other council members agreeing that it would be a good way to get money for the park. Clark agreed as well and said he would make some phone calls, but cautioned: “I wouldn’t take them all. Let them do a selection so that way we leave some stabilization on that bank.” Clark also thanked Bober for cleaning up some debris recently and Bober said he was glad to help and get some exercise. Clark announced that the Flushing Spring Clean-Up Day would be held on Saturday, June 5 from 8 a.m. until Noon at the park. He said that it would be for Flushing residents only and that proof in the form of a village water bill would be required. He went on to say that one pick-up truck load per resident would be free with a fee being charged for additional loads as well as mattresses, adding that no large appliances or electronics would be accepted along with the usual prohibited and hazardous materials. Clark also informed council that their recently hired full time employee had quit to take another job and that there would be a personnel committee meeting following the council meeting to look over some applications for that position as well as seasonal positions that were previously discussed. Mayor Vincenzo and council members expressed their appreciation for Police Chief Leek for cracking down on speeding on village roadways, with Bober noting the large number of citations being issued. Fiscal Officer Jeryl McGaffick informed council that to improve communication between she and Clark and other village workers they had started using a free smart-phone app called MaintainX and that if it yielded positive results they could discuss upgrading to the paid version. McGaffick also informed council that a computer issue had resulted in delays in some village business, but that she expected everything to be back up and running within a week. When asked for an update on the expected construction of a new Convenient Food Mart in the village, Vincenzo said that while he was frustrated by the pace, he believed progress was being made since local Convenient franchisee, Doug Cash, had purchased the property and that someone had been on the site marking the location of the gasoline tanks under the lot. In 2018 Flushing residents voted in favor of allowing carryout alcohol sales from the Convenient after Cash had said the survival of the store depended on it. During a special public forum held in October of that year before the vote took place, Cash said that utility costs in the old building where the Convenient was located was eating up all the potential profits and that a new building would be essential for them to continue to operate in Flushing. Flushing Council’s next regular meeting is scheduled to be held on Thursday May 13 at 6:00 p.m. in the old Municipal Building on High Street.