NEW WATERFORD - Village council is negotiating to purchase three lots at the center of town, Mayor Shane Patrone said Tuesday.
The properties are located on the northwest corner of the downtown intersection in the 46000 block of North State St. and the lot closest to the intersection is fenced in.
Patrone was hopeful of addressing the sale this week, noting that since the properties are on the main corner in town they wanted to "reclaim and beautify" the village.
He said it was an opportunity.
The intersection was also the topic of discussion regarding the traffic light which Solicitor Tad Herold said would need an engineering study after learning from the Ohio Department of Transportation District 11 that the current signal is a "warranted" light.
Council had discussed removing the light an replacing it with four-way stop signs or a new light depending on cost.
Since it is warranted, Herold said, "We have to pay close attention to removal" noting a safety study is required. He asked the ODOT representative about the cost for a new light but was advised ODOT didn't provide quotes.
"We are going to have to follow the procedure," Herold said about the study adding they needed public input on it "if we are going to go forward ... if we were to take it down without a study I would be concerned, but as long as we follow state procedures ..."
Patrone said they were looking at the cost for an engineering study and noted a new setup would require four poles and eight (LED) lights and suggested the village could probably get an estimate.
He said it would also look nicer.
"As far as safety goes, with a 35 mile per hour speed limit, we could use a four-way stop," Patrone said, adding they would have to place the signs further up from the intersection.
"I'm sure we'll have some complaints," he said, but Councilwoman Doris Ogle said, "We can't worry about complaints just safety."
After the meeting, Patrone said he felt most residents wanted four-way stop signs.
No action was taken and Herold will continue studying the issue.
In other business, Councilman Gary DeMarchis, a local businessman, attended his first meeting after being appointed to fill the seat left vacant by former Councilwoman Chris Bodnar at council's Oct. 30 meeting.
DeMarchis owns the Dairy Mill in East Palestine and said he has always been interested in local government.
"I've been a retail manager all my life," he said, "now with the free time I can serve."
Bodnar's four-year term expires Dec. 31, 2013.
Council members are paid $50 a month regardless of the number of meetings they attend and can enroll in the state pension plan. There are no health benefits.
Council also appointed Ken Biddle to the seat left vacant by the resignation of former Councilman Larry Leister who moved from the area.
His term is effective on Dec. 1 and Patrone said he was the only person who expressed written interest in the seat.
Note: The Christmas parade is set for 4 p.m. Dec. 3 and units will assemble at 3 p.m. at the Abundant Life Church.
"Santa is good to go," Patrone said.
Larry Shields can be reached at email@example.com