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Leetonia mayor seeking info about residential service lines

LEETONIA — Mayor Kevin Siembida is asking residents to fill out a survey expected with their next water bill regarding what type of service line comes into their home– either lead, galvanized, copper or other material.

His hope is to use that information to get those lines replaced, if the village can secure up to $1 million in grant funding to cover the cost.

Siembida touched on the project during the village council meeting Wednesday night. He had already outlined the plan in his letter to residents sent with this month’s water and sewer bills, writing that “this will greatly improve our water system and help reduce operational costs.”

In the next two or three weeks, he told council a proposal will be presented by HGR Engineering regarding grant writing for downtown revitalization projects. He recently met with them and said they’ll have a couple of options, either having the company do all the work for seeking grants or have the village do the bulk of the work and the company will just check it over.

Siembida reported that Daniel Terreri & Sons of North Jackson recently completed its work on the pocket park on Main Street downtown. Light poles will be coming in shortly. He thanked everyone who has donated to the project so far, giving thanks for a donation of $4,866 from Leetonia United Methodist Church.

People can still make donations, including the purchase of bricks, a dedication table, or dedication light pole, which will include personalized engraved plates. Order forms were included with the most recent water bill. A brick measuring 4-inches by 8-inches can be purchased for $100 with an engraving of two lines of text containing 13 characters each. Anyone needing more detail can call 330-427-6721 ext. 108 or email assistant@leetonia.org.

Village council approved two purchases through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act: $12,850 for an ionization system for the air conditioning system at village hall, to help make the air cleaner; and up to $5,500 with Haltec to replace wooden picnic tables and benches at Wick Park with tables and benches made of germ resistant material. The material will also be used at the pocket park downtown.

Siembida said if they don’t use the CARES Act funding, it will go back to the state and federal governments.

Zoning Officer Bill Pitts reported letters will be sent out this weekend to 77 possible rental units listed as water customers but not registered as rental units, requesting their status. Out of 187 registered rental units, he said 186 have paid the fee, with one left to be paid soon.

In other business, council:

— agreed to purchase impaired child signs for placement on Wilson Street at a cost of $162.

— learned trick-or-treat will be held in the village from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31, immediately followed by the Halloween parade at 7:30 p.m. hosted by the fire department. The parade forms by the Italian American Club and follows Main Street to the fire hall.

— learned brush pickup will take place the first two weeks in October, starting on the south side Oct. 5 and then the north side Oct. 12.

— set the next council meeting for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 7, followed by a finance committee meeting for an update on CARES funding, the paving project spending and hydrant replacement project.

— heard the housing survey is nearly complete on the south side and will be starting soon on the north side. The survey is needed for the Community Reinvestment Area, which could help with development and help reduce costs for homeowners fixing up their homes.

— heard someone privately donated hanging baskets of mums to be placed downtown.

Prior to the council meeting, a session of the Tax Incentive Review Council was held with Columbiana County Economic Development Director Tad Herold attending via Zoom. The group includes the mayor, Councilmen Neal Bayless, William Garlough and Dave Keeler and every year the enterprise zones are reviewed for the industrial park. The two enterprise zone agreements for Pennex and one for Haltec were all renewed.

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