EP brings Malibu into village

EAST PALESTINE — The village took the final step Monday night to make Malibu Drive a village street, but not without first hearing concerns from Councilman Brett Todd.

Todd said he wants to see something in place in the future to keep the village from being on the hook again like it was with the Malibu Estates housing development.

He recalled that the developer walked away from the project about 20 years ago before it was completed, and now the village will have to deal with those issues as they relate to Malibu Drive and Malibu Circle.

Todd said some of the waterlines were never completed.

The developer quit the project early as a result of bankruptcy, Acting Mayor Alan Cohen and Village Manager Pete Monteleone both said.

Until now, Malibu Drive and Malibu Circle were never officially dedicated, meaning that they were technically considered private roads and not the responsibility of the village.

The village has patched potholes and performed some maintenance over the years, but paving was never done.

Council members – with the exception of Todd – agreed to have the roads dedicated so that they can be paved by the village due to the their poor condition.

The legislation passed by a 4-1 vote, with Councilman DJ Yokley absent.

In response to Todd’s concern, Councilman Doug Simpson said more follow-up from the village throughout projects could help.

However, the village is currently without an assistant building and zoning inspector following the resignation of John Simon a few months ago.

Monteleone, as manager, is automatically the village’s building and zoning inspector per the charter, but help is needed, officials agreed.

Cohen then suggested the village look into the possibility of requiring developers to have performance bonds.

The bond would be issued by the developer’s bank or insurance company and would guarantee the completion of the project.

Council members were in favor of looking into that option.