Lighting up East Liverpool
EAST LIVERPOOL — Virginia Jackson, age 90, grew up in and graduated from East Liverpool and she had a vision for the city: to illuminate the streets downtown with glowing strings of lights. Jackson said Columbiana gave her the idea. “Columbiana has them and I am so impressed with how beautiful it looks. When you go into Columbiana, every store has something. It’s moving,” she said.
Jackson said she thinks adding some aesthetic with the softly glowing lights would be a pick-me-up for the city. “I just get so excited over it because I think this is going to be a real incentive for East Liverpool to come back to life.”
Jackson is moved by the community support she has experienced during the project. She said she was working in the Diamond and a person stopped and gave her a $100 bill toward the project. Jackson was moved to tears by the generosity. “It’s so nice,” she said, visibly moved by the gesture.
She said she had the idea for the lights but was not sure what the next move should be. “I didn’t know where to go then Jeff told me he would take the horse by the tail and go with it and he did.”
Councilman Jeffrey Kreefer recruited the East Liverpool Fire Department to help execute the project and get the lights up. “I always drag the fire department into everything and those guys never turn me down and they’re always there to help me,” Kreefer said. “They really are. Without them to help me I wouldn’t get hardly anything done. And it’s all volunteer help.”
Kreefer wanted to thank those who have helped him get the lights up, including firefighters Alex Estell, Josh Coil, Shawn Fiffick, Michael Dubray, plus retired firefighters Chris Harrison, James Miller, assistant chief Antony Cumo, chief William Jones, lieutenant Lance Smith, Craig and Greg Stowers, and Kreefer’s friend Emery Smith.
Kreefer said they hung lights in the Diamond over the weekend and he would like to hit a few more streets. “I’m going to try to do Sixth Street, down there in front of Market Street,” Kreefer said. “I’m going to try to do Washington Street. I should be able to get those done.”
Kreefer said he has worked with Jackson on a few projects in the past. “She called me up with this and I can’t turn her down, she’s such a nice lady.”
Kreefer said the cost for the lights is between $70 and $80 per 100 feet. His goal is to have downtown illuminated by the upcoming all-class reunion.