LEETONIA- Village Council Wednesday night appointed a familiar face to its vacant seat.
Council appointed former president Danny Fire to complete the term left vacant following Dave Tingle's death last month. The term expires Dec. 31, 2013.
"It's a tough decision considering the sensitivity of the situation," said council President Dan Summers. "Dave's death obviously took us all by shock."
In addition to Fire, who had served on council for 12 years before losing in the May 2011 primary by just a few votes, four other residents expressed an interest in the position, including Jim Feist, Sue Buchanan, Auggie Cerrone and Tony Bingham.
Fire's experience on council and recent campaign for re-election weighed heavily in council's decision.
"He can hit the ground running with all the issues, so he seems like the logical choice," Summers said. "Plus he was the only one (of the applicants) to run in the last election and only lost by five votes, so people obviously were voting for him."
In other business, council approved the first reading of a ordinance to enter into a one-year agreement with Chesapeake Exploration for the sale of non-potable (raw) water at $5 per 1,000 gallons.
Council also hired Susan Simpson as water-sewer clerk. She will remain the Shade Tree commissioner, Oakdale Cemetery clerk and part-time lab employee.
Additionally council declined an Ohio Public Works loan to replace the grit chamber at the wastewater treatment plant. According to Village Administrator Gary Phillips, the village was offered a loan of $230,300 at zero percent interest for the estimated $258,800 project after the village failed to secure grant funding. He said he recommended council decline the loan because paying the full cost of the project would have presented a financial hardship on the village.
Also at the meeting, Summers questioned the progress being made concerning the condition of the old theater on Chestnut Street. Zoning Inspector John Rydarowicz said that he is waiting on a state architectural engineer to let him know if the building can be condemned and torn down. If it can be, the cost of the demolition can be assessed as a property lien. Summers suggested examining the way fines are assessed for zoning violations, since the owner of the building has been fined multiple times and hasn't seemed to respond.
A clean up day at Wick Park is scheduled for Saturday. Volunteers will meet at 10 a.m. at the Leetonia Community Public Library.
The next regular council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. June 20 at Village Hall, preceded by a Water/Sewer Committee meeting at 6 p.m. at the water plant.
Kevin Howell can be reached at email@example.com