Leetonia committee to look into Village Hall update

LEETONIA- Village Council has created a subcommittee to consider options for a new government building.

Council member Sue Buchanan announced at Wednesday’s council meeting that she is actively seeking grants to expand the current building to include a garage for the police department, a records retention room and new council chambers. She said there is a lot of money available for renovation of municipal buildings.

“We need something that presents a better image of Leetonia,” she said.

After Fiscal Officer Randy Chismar said that the current building will be hard to add onto due to state regulations, council member Kevin Siembida suggested the subcommittee to discuss other options, namely building an entirely new facility incorporating the police and fire departments as well as village hall.

Following the meeting the Police Committee told Police Chief John Soldano to wait before pursuing grant funding for a detached two-bay garage for his department, so that the subcommittee could evaluate the options.

Council’s search for an upgrade to the current village hall has been active the past couple years. Soldano’s previous request for a three-bay garage for roughly $18,000 didn’t make past council at the time, while village administration last year attempted to renovate the former Sky Bank on Main Street into office and storage space, but abandoned the project due to cost constraints.

In other business council agreed to set the vacation policy for the seven employees being moved from part-time to full-time status retroactive for those with an average of 35 hours or more for the past 10 years. All other will enter the vacation scale as new full-time employees. The employees, who each work nearly 40 hours a week already, include Craig Thomas and Charles Smith from the road department, Lisa Smith from the water department and Becky Shearer, Tracy McCreary, Dan Soules and George Long from the police department.

Village Solicitor Walter Newton will draw up an ordinance for the issue to be passed at a future meeting.