Ferry targets fall repairs

MARTINS FERRY – City council met Wednesday to review several ongoing fall projects and infrastructure upgrades.

Service Director Charles Bennett reported complaints of vermin on some properties. The areas are being baited. Grass cutting is ongoing and several culverts have been cleaned out and water breaks repaired.

Also, he noted two recent complaints of impostors posing as water or sewer department employees attempting to gain access to residents’ homes. Anyone with suspicions of a purported employee asking for admittance should call Bennett at (740) 633-2867, the city at (740) 633-6151, or the police at (740) 633-2121. The city may consider providing badges to employees.

Auditor Rita Randall noted several companies have caught up on witholding taxes to about $12,000. The city is still $42,000 short from last year.

Council received a sample ordinance to ban synthetic marijuana and other dangerous products.

Regarding the fire department, Fire Chief Jack Regis reported trunk pump testing and equipment testing occurred in June. Two trucks failed, but were repaired and will be re-tested.

Council heard from the park district. Water has been shut off. Anyone planning park events requiring water should contact the district. Council motioned to provide $10,000 to the park district pay out current bills and finish out the year.

Also, council will consider the use of $30,000 for finishing a concrete sidewalk for the playground, along with a concrete work by first base, repairs to the drainage, and a stone wall from the concession stand to behind the backstop. This will complete upgrades began and carried on by the Lions Club through volunteer effort and donations. Civics and other volunteers have contributed to the upgrades.

In other business, two major water breaks were also fixed. The city is also in need of another pickup truck to replace their current 15-year-old vehicle. Specifics will be available for the upcoming finance meeting.

Also, a pre-bid meeting is set for 10 a.m. Friday for filter media replacement. Bidding will take place Oct. 4. The bidder will have 120 days from bid opening to complete the project.

Regarding streets, Councilman Russell Armstrong reported additional street paving has begun, using an excess of $14,400 from a prior project. A street committee meeting was set for Sept. 25, 5:30 p.m. to look at prices.

Councilman Bruce Shrodes reported a recent service committee meeting. He said council should consider hiring an assistant to Bennett or a street superintendent to deal with the increasing workload.

Council approved the transfer of real estate to Habitat for Humanity.

The mayor was authorized to enter into contract with the Ohio Public Works Commission for a state capital improvement grant.

Council held the first reading of an ordinance directing reimbursement by the EMS to the permanent improvement fund.

Council held the first reading of a resolution directing the auditor to pledge $122,572 for the paving of Zane Highway.

Council will consider the purchase of a leak detector for $2,000.

Council approved $1,500 for payment to the webmaster for designing the site. Council minutes and news are available online.

A fall craft and vendor fair to benefit the fire department will be held in the park Oct. 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Oct. 14, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The safety committee will meet Oct. 15, 5:30 p.m.

A community-wide neighborhood watch meeting is set for Saturday at 6 p.m. at the American Legion.

Code Administrator Betty Suto was thanked for her efforts in accelerating the process of removing debris from a collapsed Hanover Street building. The debris is now down to street level and should be hauled away by next week.

David Lucas, candidate for sheriff, and Matt Coffland, commissioner seeking re-election, introduced themselves.

Trick or Treat was set for Oct. 31, 6-7 p.m.

Halloween in the park was set for Oct. 27, noon-2 p.m. The first operational meeting was set for Sept. 7, 6:30 p.m.

DeFrank can be reached at rdefrank@timesleaderonline.com