Leetonia looks to slash trash truck traffic on village streets

LEETONIA–With four streets slated to be paved this summer, village council is considering ways to reduce trash truck traffic.

The Multi-Highway Paving Grant through the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) will include Cherry and Mill streets as well as Washington Street from Oak Street to village corporation limits and Walnut Street between York and Washington streets. To participate the village will have to appropriate $40,000 from the General Fund to the streets fund.

The paving should begin in August, according to village Administrator Gary Phillips.

Before the streets are paved, however, council will look to reduce the number of trash companies allowed to pick up in the village, possibly moving to just one for the entire village.

Council President JR Ferry made the suggestion during a project update meeting prior to council’s regular meeting Wednesday night.

Ferry noted that trash trucks are heavy vehicles and wear down roadways. It is particularly bad in Leetonia since there are four or five companies picking up trash, meaning the heavy vehicles are traveling over the roadways multiple times each week and even in one day, he said.

It would serve the village best to avoid having heavy vehicle traffic on the new roadways, he added.

Mayor Kevin Siembida said he will speak with the solid waste district of Columbiana-Carroll-Harrison counties regarding the issue of one trash company for the entire village and how to go about contracting with a company, which would likely require advertising for bids.

Also at the update meeting, council again addressed concerns about vehicles traveling the wrong way on High Street between Oak and Elm streets which was reopened early this year as a one-way street. It had been closed for two years due to condition of the roadway and guardrail, but council agreed to install new guardrails, which were moved further into the roadway to avoid the deteriorating hillside on the south side of the road, and reopen it to traffic after motorists were ignoring the temporary barricades closing the road, causing a safety liability for the village.

Councilman Jim Pittman, who lives at the corner of High and Oak streets, had reported at a previous meeting motorists traveling the

wrong way and on Wednesday said they still were. He guessed 10 to 12 vehicles are going the wrong way each day.

Pittman and Ferry both noted the signs indicating the direction of the one-way street are not very visible, either hidden by brush or too small to notice.

Phillips has been instructed to investigate the issue.

Additionally at the meeting, Siembida reported the records commission has approved a records retention schedule that will be forwarded to the Ohio Historical Society and then the state attorney general’s office for approval, which should take approximately 60 days, he said.

Once the schedule is returned to the village, council can approve it and move forward with disposal of old records.