Councilman continues to push for concessions

EAST PALESTINE – The concession stand at Village Park could be open for business year-round, if Councilman Don Elzer has his way.

His suggestion the existing stand be leased to companies outside the summer months has gained momentum, with some on council in favor of seeking interested companies.

The stand has only been used during the summer when the pool is open.

Elzer believes it will bring more revenue to the park if used throughout the year, and the idea has been discussed among council since 2012.

“The village can’t lose in this scenario. If the village gets anything, it’s more than what we are getting now,” he said.

He questioned why council opted to table legislation allowing for the leasing at the Sept. 9 meeting in which he was absent.

Councilman Alan Cohen said the legislation was too vague and he didn’t think they “could pass an ordinance like that.”

It was drafted by Village Solicitor Shirley Smith upon Elzer’s recommendation and did not include the amount of security deposit needed.

Cohen told Elzer there were “too many blanks” and council wanted to discuss the legislation with him before taking any action.

Elzer responded the legislation was drafted for discussion purposes and could be changed to be more specific. He said the inclusion of limiting leasing to food and beverage vendors only was a “mistake,” however, and announced the East Palestine Youth Sports Association is interested.

“The revenue going to youth sports would be a great thing,” he added.

Cohen agreed other uses for the stand, such as the sale of lotion and sunscreen, could be beneficial as well.

Smith said council could give Village Manager Pete Monteleone the authority to offer a lease under certain criteria. Any lease would have to come before council for approval.

In other business, Mayor Margo Zuch wished to thank all the local Boy Scouts who have initiated projects in the community over the year.

Two scouts showed council pictures of their completed projects this week. Austin Huffman installed signs at the entrance to the cemetery and chapel and landscaped at the chapel sign. Noah Tancer improved the walking trail at the lake by adding mulch in the picnic area and near some benches.

The boys are seeking to earn Eagle Scout rank and are two of four who approached council this summer requesting approval for projects.

Council Clerk Misti Martin announced the next council meeting will be held in the new administrative offices at the former PNC Bank building on North Market Street. Meetings begin at 7 p.m.