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Keeler resigns from Leetonia council, new member sought

LEETONIA–Village council is looking for a new member following a resignation Wednesday night.

Councilman Dave Keeler is resigning effective Aug. 2 due to personal reasons. He has served on council the past six years, beginning his second term Jan. 1, 2020.

Siembida thanked Keeler for serving his community amid shortages of those willing to step up.

“I thank him for his service over the years and his dedication to the community,” Siembida said.

Residents interested in filling Keeler’s seat should submit a letter of interest to village hall as soon as possible. If council fails to appoint a new member within 30 days, Siembida must make the appointment.

In other matters, general funds for the city have a projected $100,000 surplus within the next year.

“It’s been one of the healthiest we have ever seen in the village,” Siembida said.

The first payment from the American Rescue Plan of 2021 has arrived in the city coffers. Council will hold a finance meeting in August to discuss the fund, which Siembida said is unique and requires additional reporting and specific expenditure categories.

In order to continue protecting the village along with neighboring communities, Police Chief Allen Haueter requested the village enter into a contract with the Columbiana County Major Crimes Task Force establishing mutual aid.

Next, waterline improvements along Walnut and Chestnut streets are moving forward as well as plans to pave Pine Street. New lines and better hydrants installed along Walnut and Chestnut streets will allow the flow of water will be increased.

Also, the water department has started flushing hydrants. Twenty percent of the hydrants on the north side are completed.

In other business, Siembida advised that the nationwide shortage of employees is affecting the village.

“We are in desperate need of dispatchers and police officers with all departments,” he said.

The chief has set up alternative routing regarding dispatch calls. The fire station is also manning phone lines.

Lastly, after running out of volunteers for the annual artisan’s festival, four women have stepped forward to rename the festival to the Leetonia Fall Festival. The festival will include a community breakfast and vendors. The festival would close Main Street between Chestnut to Elm streets.

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