New Waterford helped East Palestine with water

NEW WATERFORD – Mayor Shane Patrone said the village offered to do whatever it could to help East Palestine when advised of its water shortage problems over the weekend.

About 5,000 East Palestine residents and businesses were shut off from the municipal water supply when sub-zero temperatures caused line breaks forcing wells to be shut down at 8 a.m. Saturday, and putting the village in a water emergency.

Patrone said he received a call Saturday morning from Fire Chief Greg Van Pelt who had talked to the East Palestine fire chief.

“We gave them everything they need,” Patrone said, adding that Carol Petrachkoff arranged help with water from Lisbon also.

New Waterford offered to help handle fire calls in East Palestine, Patrone said, noting the proximity of the two villages was important.

“We are close by, three to four miles, they could come in and get water,” he said, “we let them know if they needed anything we were there.”

He added, “That’s what communities do. It could be New Waterford next time … the same could happen to us. We were glad to help East Palestine,” noting in particular the hardship to the elderly.

The Walmart in Salem donated thousands of cases of bottled water to the village and the Clark Street Fire Station provided potable water.

Bottled water and non-potable water is available at the fire station for residents who need it.

While the decision is up to village council, Patrone said he didn’t foresee New Waterford billing East Palestine for the water.

“I don’t see that happening,” he said.

In other New Waterford business, council will meet at 7 p.m. today in the community building.

After a re-organization meeting, Patrone said he expects council to discuss re-appointing the solicitor and concluding the finances with a final invoice from the Fleis and Vanderbrink (F&V) contract, the Michigan-based company that operated the water and sewer plant.

In December of 2012, council told the company it was exercising its option to void the remaining contract.

Council wants to get that “chapter behind them,” Patrone said.

Also expected for discussion is the fire contract with Unity Township and Patrone said he has been in contact with Fairfield Township officials regarding that fire protection contract.