East Liverpool puts lawsuit money to use

EAST LIVERPOOL – Legislation was approved this week by City Council moving more than $6 million from its successful lawsuit against the Buckeye Water District into three separate funds.

The city won a $6.2 million settlement from BWD after the water district breached its contract to purchase water, leading to an eight-year legal battle.

With passage of three separate ordinances, council placed $3.6 million into the water R&I fund and $1.6 million into the water fund to be used for water-related projects.

The remaining $1 million went into the general fund for repayment to the Community Improvement Corporation which loaned the city money for finalization of the former Riverview Florist property purchase.

The city had previously spent $1 million on a water line project rather than use water department funds, and this amount is repayment for that project.

Councilman Ray Perorazio commended Law Director Charles Payne for his efforts in the successful lawsuit, saying, “You did a good job getting this money from BWD. We’re supposed to be part of Columbiana County yet not one (county commissioner) stood up and said, ‘This is illegal’ (when BWD decided to breach the contract). The amazing part is no one got fired (over the lawsuit).”

In other legislative action, council approved an ordinance authorizing a contract with Huston-Galveston Area Council-BUY to allow for cooperation purchasing, much like the city does with the state co-operative purchasing program.

Service-Safety Director Ryan Estell explained that contracting with HGACBUY allows communities from around the country to purchase equipment while cutting down on the cost of bidding competitively.

Through this contract, Estell plans to purchase two new garbage truck bodies which are not available through the state co-op program.

The new street sweeper council agreed to purchase at its last meeting arrived May 31 and employees underwent a full day of training, according to Estell, who said they will receive additional training for the next few weeks and then annual updates.

It was used Monday morning for cleaning out sewer drops, and an employee has volunteered to take the midnight shift to use it for cleaning streets.

Council voted to adopt its summer meeting schedule, with just one session held per month in June, July and August.