East Palestine will have to wait to replace light poles

EAST PALESTINE – New light poles may appear in the village, but likely not anytime soon.

Village Manager Pete Monteleone said that during a meeting with an Ohio Edison representative he learned the village is responsible for purchasing new poles, and no grant funding is available.

The poles are owned by Ohio Edison, and the village pays a maintenance fee.

Village officials had hoped the company could replace the 45 to 50 aging poles on North Market Street. Like the pole that fell in front of the administrative offices last week, they are rusted at the base and cannot support the weight of decorative flags or banners, Monteleone said.

Council members and Mayor Margo Zuch have said they would like to see decorative banners placed on the poles, but Ohio Edison advised that couldn’t be done.

Monteleone said the pole in front of the administrative offices will be replaced as soon as possible, but the new pole will be different since the former one was old and the style is no longer available.

That single pole will cost about $5,000 and, although purchased by the village, will still be owned by Ohio Edison.

The pole that was removed began falling toward the street on Thursday afternoon resulting in the closure of the road for a several hours. It happened less than 24 hours before an already scheduled Friday meeting with Ohio Edison to discuss the pole replacements.

The meeting was later cancelled and rescheduled to Monday due to the weather, Monteleone said.

He added he is still talking to the company about options for new poles along the street and said the village will continue to seek out grant funding.