MINGO JUNCTION - Village Council on Tuesday approved a nearly $2.1 million contract for the Lincoln Avenue sewer separation project and took no action on a request to vacate unused streets and an alley in the south end of the village.
The village opened four bids for the Lincoln Avenue sewer separation project, with James White Construction of Weirton submitting the low bid of $2,096,130.
The village is being mandated by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to separating wastewater and storm water into different pipes. Kevin Wilmot of CT Consultants, the village's engineering firm, said the combined system now can lead to an overflow issue at the wastewater treatment plant and untreated sewage being dumped into the river.
The village has applied for a 20-year state loan.
Wilmot said the project will include separating about 3,200 feet of wastewater and storm water lines. He said water lines also will be replaced in the work area.
Council also took no action on a request by attorney John J. Mascio to vacate unused streets and alleys in the south end of the village.
Mascio asked council on behalf of his client, G&M Family Partnership of Wintersville, to abandon a portion of Elizabeth Street, all of Susan Street and an unnamed alley. He said his client owns all of the property surrounding the streets.
Mascio said the streets haven't been used in years and are overgrown with trees and brush. He said his client needs the streets and alley vacated so the property can be marketed for development. But several council members at the Aug. 27 meeting said they first wanted to know what the development plans are for the property before making a decision of vacating the streets.
"No one will give a plan without knowing what they have to work with," Mascio said, adding the village can't stop the development if it is legitimate and meets state requirements.
"Then you don't need it," said Councilman James Morrocco said of Mascio not disclosing the intended use of the property.
Councilman John Bracone said development of the property could lead to jobs in the village. He made a motion to vacate the streets and alley but no other council member would second the motion.
Councilman Jack Brettell said a letter will be sent to Mascio stating council will make a decision when the business needs council to take action.
Village Fire Chief John Wright informed council of the lack of personnel in the fire and emergency medical services because of illness and one full-time firefighter submitting a resignation because of another job opportunity.
Wright said there is only one paramedic - himself - in the village.
"We are in a crisis," he said, adding the village has been relying on Brilliant and Hillndale fire departments for emergency medical services.
Wright wants to hold a membership drive for people interested in getting training to become paramedics and emergency medical technicians. He said the village could pay for the training in exchange for those hired to commit to work for the village for a period of time.
Also, council discussed bringing back magistrate's court instead of using Wintersville county court.
But Steve Maguschak, village administrator, said the funding isn't available. He said it would cost $6,000 for the magistrate and $18,000 for a clerk to handle the paperwork.
Council President John Fabian, who has been filling in as mayor for the past several meetings in the absence of Mayor Ron DiCarlo, said he would like to see the magistrate's court reinstated if the money becomes available.
Maguschak also announced the village will get at least $2,000 of the $3,000 it cost to replace the computer to control the splash pad at Aracoma Park. The computer overheated in the shed it was stored during the summer. The village has to pay a $1,000 deductible to the village's insurance carrier.
Brettell said the village will go back to the three-month water and sewage billing. The village last year went to a monthly billing but Brettell said it has led to a lot of problems. The three-month billing will be in effect starting in January. Residents will be notified in the October water and sewer bills of the change.
Council also approved adding more work to be done of the roof replacement project at the Municipal Building. Council in August approved a $67,000 contract with Hicks Roofing of New Philadelphia to replace a section of the roof. Council agreed to spend an additional $31,500 to do the entire roof.
Council approved an ordinance making it illegal to operate bikes, roller skates, roller blades or other wheeled items on the sidewalks in the business districts in the village. The ordinance exempts wheelchairs, baby strollers or carts to deliver products.
Council's water and sewer committee will meet at 9:15 a.m. on Oct. 14 in the Municipal Building.