Leetonia council considers closing section of High Street

LEETONIA — Village Council is considering the closure of High Street between Oak and Elm streets.

Council Wednesday night approved the first reading of an ordinance closing the roadway, which has been temporarily closed for almost two years. The narrow road is deteriorating and the guardrail needs replaced, according to Village Administrator Gary Phillips, who noted there are no businesses or residences on that stretch and it is rarely used.

“It’s time to replace the guardrail and reopen the road or decide to keep it closed,” Phillips said.

Phillips said if council chooses to close the road, the temporary barricades will be replaced with permanent ones. He said motorists are moving the temporary ones and using the road, which although not a liability of the village, can still be prevented by making a decision about closing it permanently.

Councilwoman Sue Buchanan expressed concern if the road is closed that it will grow up in weeds, harming surrounding property values.

Phillips responded that the area will be maintained the same as other village right of ways.

Council only approved the first reading so that community members can share their thoughts about the issue. Phillips said he will provide options for the roadway at the next council meeting March 1.

In other business, council hired Colton Hall and Terry Madison as reserve police officers and named Neil Bayless to the Community Development Committee.

Council also authorized Village Solicitor Walter Newton to draw up legislation for the police department to trade in additional outdated firearms valued at $500 for an AK-15 assault rifle to be used in situations where long corridors need cleared. The department has previously traded in outdated firearms.

Also at the meeting, Mayor Kevin Siembida said council will have to review the fee schedule for zoning offenses for Mayor’s Court after Zoning Inspector Bill Pitts reported correct citations need to have the fees printed on them so offenders can pay without going to the court. Siembida said he will speak to the Mayor’s Court magistrate to get the current fee schedule for council to review and for Pitts to use for the time being.

The village’s Flower Committee is conducting a Lottery Planter Raffle with proceeds going toward the purchasing of hanging flower pots for downtown. Tickets cost $1 each or $5 for six and are available at businesses in Leetonia and Washingtonville. The drawing will be held at 7 p.m. March 8 at village hall.

The next regular council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. March 1 at Village Hall. There will be no committee meetings beforehand.