Concentrating on streets up next in Liverpool

EAST LIVERPOOL–East Liverpool council members agree in principle that the Streets Department needs more bodies; however, the big question is how to pay for it.

Council members discussed the issue extensively during Monday’s meeting, after learning of more economic growth in the city’s future.

Council President John Torma said with the abundance of issues centering around potholes and infrastructure failures, some of that money needs to focused on bumping up efforts on roads. The street department currently only has seven employees. He suggested council earmark some more money from these new businesses to the street department, which is sadly lacking for employees.

“That is our goal,” explained Mayor Ryan Stovall, adding that he has already beefed up police and fire.

“We need to fix this and to work together both as a council and administration,” Torma added.

Rev. Ernest Peachey also announced a tentative cleanup schedule for the smaller parks in the city system and asked for volunteers to call him at 614-571-6272. From 8-11 a.m., cleanup, repairs and painting will happen at Klondyke (June 1), St. George (June 8), Orchard Grove (June 22) and Fulmer (June 29).

During the personal privilege, council candidate Linda Ziegler said that if council decides to resurrect the Board of Public Utilities, she would like to see it with new members, who apply to council’s Utilities Committee based on their merit rather than political connections and also include a member of council and from the administration.

Jan Hunt, who is with Hunt Auto Care, inquired about when repairs would be made to the 400 block of Virginia as the business is seeing extensive drainage issues near the railroad tracks. Mayor Ryan Stovall said that he would check for a timetable with the Ohio Rail Commission and get her answers.

In other action, council agreed to:

–Operate under a summer meeting schedule, only holding one council meeting monthly during June, July and August.

–A new three-year contract with Local 977, which largely consists of municipal service employees who will receive a 2 percent raise in 2019 and 2020 as well as a 3 percent increase in 2021.

–Creation of an East Liverpool Tree Commission, which will oversee the planting, maintenance and replacement of trees and scrubs within the city’s public right of way.

— Approve the questions authorized by council member Jeffrey Kreefer for the Environmental Protection Agency in regards to Heritage Thermal Services.