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City Council approves sale of vacant lots

October 24, 2012
By DAVE GOSSETT - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

STEUBENVILLE - City Council approved the sale of two vacant lots on North Fifth Street following the third and final reading of legislation Tuesday night.

But a south Sixth Street businessman questioned city officials why he has been denied the chance to purchase a vacant lot next to his used vehicle dealership.

The council meeting was held at Eastern Gateway Community College following the state of the city address by Mayor Domenick Mucci.

The decision to advertise the two North End properties for sale came after a neighboring property owner expressed an interest in the lots that are adjacent to his home.

If Patrick Nyguyen is the successful bidder for the two lots owned by the city he said he will fence the properties off as a yard and maintain the site.

Nyguyen said he plans to "trim back the large tree encroaching on my house, redo the sidewalk that is in need of repair and beautify the North End just a little bit."

Ray Livingston, owner of Ray Livingston Auto Sales, said he has been trying to buy a vacant lot adjacent to his dealership "for some time."

"What do we have to do to buy this lot? I am asking City Council to reconsider their decision to not sell the property. Why am I not able to purchase the property? I have been there for 68 years. You sold property down the street to the trucking company," said Livingston.

"That decision would be up to City Council. The council met on south Sixth Street in front of your property. And that vacant lot is part of a large group of lots in the South End that have been land banked as part of the South End Strategic Plan for future development," responded City Manager Cathy Davison.

And Third Ward Councilman Greg Metcalf said council believes more properties could be obtained by the city for marketing purposes.

Local business owner Mark Nelson urged council to delay a suggestion to give South End property to the Jefferson County Port Authority.

"Everyone is still working under the old comprehensive plan. But we are about to see a new comprehensive plan that will have suggestions for future development in the city. That land belongs to the city and to us as citizens, and I would urge you wait to make a decision on the properties until a new plan is in place," said Nelson.

In other business, council:

Approved an ordinance amending the city's fair housing code to bring the regulations into line with federal and state fair housing laws.

Second Ward Councilman Rick Perkins said the revised language, "will bring the city's fair housing code into compliance with federal and state laws."

Approved the third reading for an ordinance for the city manager to advertise for bids for the purchase of necessary supplies for the city service department.

Approved the third reading for the city manager to sign an agreement with the Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District and a consortium of affected Jefferson County political jurisdictions to provide assistance with the implementation of the Phase II Storm Water Management Plan as mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Approved a resolution in support of the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School 1-mill levy on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Heard a second reading for legislation approving a $8,250 payment to attorney Joseph M. Corabi for negotiating an oil and gas lease for the city.

Mucci reminded city residents trick-or-treat hours are 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 31.

"Residents who will be handing out treats should turn their porch lights on and trick-or-treaters should not disturb people who do not have the porch lights on," said the mayor.

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