Taking their city back

EAST LIVERPOOL – With shootings, drug abuse and other crime being reported on a regular basis, one city official is looking into starting a Crime Watch program.

Councilman Ryan Stovall announced at this week’s meeting he is currently in the process of putting together a slide show that will be presented as part of his effort to start the neighborhood program.

“I’m trying to take back our city. Most of our problems are not our residents but ‘tourists’ from New Jersey, Columbus and Steubenville,” Stovall said, referring to some of those out-of-towners who have been questioned, and sometimes arrested, by police. Some of them have advised officers they were “vacationing” in the city.

Stovall said he is working on the program in conjunction with the city police department, but said, “It’s going to take residents, not just the police department” to make it work.

Meanwhile, he encouraged residents to use the police department’s anonymous tip line to report crime. That number is 330-385-1234, with prompts that lead callers to the tip line.

In a related matter, police Chief John Lane reported Patrolman Chad Tatgenhorst will complete training with his canine partner Ivo on May 17, and the new K-9 team should be on the job the following Monday.

“I’m glad to hear the K-9 is coming. Maybe it will scare off some of those bad guys,” Councilman Chuck Wade said.

“We’re all looking forward to that,” Lane agreed.

Pennsylvania Avenue resident Tim Lucas addressed council about semi trucks parking on the lot across from his home, leaving the trucks and their refrigeration units running throughout the night, keeping his family awake.

He has called police several times, including Sunday, when he was advised officers were too busy to respond.

A retired law enforcement officer himself, Lucas said, “They have better things to do than run around checking on (these kinds of complaints).”

Estell said he will try and locate the property owner and deal with the problem.

With spring in the air, officials had much to say about those people who have been sprucing up the city.

Councilman Sherrie Curtis commended the East Liverpool-Calcutta Garden Club for its maintenance of the serpentine garden at the entrance to the city, while Councilman Russell Dray and Estell both praised Curtis for her work cleaning up Spring Grove Cemetery, with Estell also singling out Thomas Clark Sr., Bill Miller, Tom Clark, Brenda Clark and Terry Rudibaugh for cemetery cleanup, saying, “Thank God for volunteers.”

Dray commended residents Virgil Reynolds and Alonzo Spencer for painting the Elizabeth Street Bridge. Dray also worked alongside them on the painting project.

Councilman Scott Barrett commended Lucas for addressing council, saying he wished more residents would do the same.

Stovall thanked the owners of V-Nails, a Calcutta business, for purchasing the former Sevy’s Pharmacy building on St. Clair Avenue, where it will relocate.

Curtis said the tag day season is in full swing and referred to Wellsville, where bright orange barrels are used to mark tag day sites, saying perhaps blue barrels need to be used in the city as a safety measure.

“We need to make sure the rules are enforced,” she cautioned.