STEUBENVILLE - The executive director of Progress Alliance told city council members Tuesday night the city is starting to see positive results from the shale industry in Jefferson County.
"There is a lot of interest in Jefferson County for potential hotels, restaurants and retail stores. And we are just barely seeing the kind of activity we expect to see in the next five to 10 years," Ed Looman announced during his quarterly report to the council.
"We are continuing to see base hits. The shale companies we are dealing with want to use local vendors and hire local employees. The local employment numbers in the shale industry are starting to grow. And we have been told we can expect to see large growth in the next two to four years," explained Looman.
"We are not booming yet, but we are seeing more local people hired. In fact, 60 percent of the shale industry students at Eastern Gateway Community College now have jobs in the oil and gas industry," said Looman.
During the short council session, a second reading was heard for an ordinance authorizing the hiring of a professional engineer for design work on the Lovers Lane roadway that may include a roundabout circle at the intersection with Fort Steuben Drive, wider driving lanes and possible mail box drop off sites.
The council also heard a second reading for an ordinance allowing the rezoning of The Rose property on Lovers Lane.
The owners of The Rose and Clara's Catering have asked the city's Planning and Zoning Commission to approve rezoning their Lovers Lane property to allow a screening and graphics company to set up shop in the building.
The Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on Aug. 6 on the rezoning request. A third and final reading by the council is set for Aug. 14.
A first reading was heard Tuesday night for legislation authorizing the expansion of the Steel Valley Regional Transit Authority to include Wintersville as a third community partner.
The Mingo Junction and Wintersville village councils have already approved similar language.
An ordinance to change the name of the city's FEMA fund to to the Emergency Management fund was also heard for the first time.
Third Ward Councilman Greg Metcalf said he would like an update on the proposed plan that would see the state government take over local tax collections.
"I would like to know the status of the proposal and what impact that could have on our local tax collections," said Metcalf.
Mayor Domenick Mucci reminded area residents the city fireworks show is now scheduled for 9:45 p.m. Friday on the hillside plateau behind the Hollywood City Center.
And City Manager Cathy Davison announced Assistant Fire Chief Carlo Capaldi will be sworn in as fire chief during ceremonies at 9 a.m. Friday at the Historic Fort Steuben flagpole.
The council met in executive session prior to the regular meeting to discuss personnel and pending litigation.