City one step closer to community center

EAST LIVERPOOL – A baker’s dozen of legislation was passed Monday night by City Council under suspension of rules, including an ordinance authorizing a new community center at the former East Junior High School building.

With Councilman Tom Cunningham absent, council gave second reading and final approval to the ordinance authorizing an agreement between the city and the Hometown Organization Youths Athletics.

According to the agreement, the city will retain ownership of the property, with HOYA responsible for all repairs and maintenance. The non-profit group will pay no rental fees, and any fees generated will be returned to the property to cover the cost of operations, maintenance and improvements, with the approval of the service-safety director.

The complex will be used for a variety of activities, including athletics, musical and academics.

Revised resolutions were also passed that will allow for two levies to be placed on the November ballot: A 4-mill police protection levy and a 2-mill current expenses levy.

Chief John Lane has said the police levy will go a long way toward helping him fund the cost of manpower when officers are on vacation or otherwise off duty, although there are no plans to hire additional officers at this time.

The current expense levy will be used to pay the cost of demolishing dilapidated and abandoned residential structures.

Each mill is expected to generate about $65,000.

Council also approved an ordinance Monday earmarking all revenue from the current expenses levy, should it be approved by voters, to demolition. The law does not allow ballot language to specify that usage.

Also passed by council was an ordinance approving a zoning change for property at 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, the former Tad Motors, from B-5, Central Business, to M-3, General Industry, to allow the owners to move forward with a potential sale.

The property is being eyed by an existing East End trucking company for an expansion of its business.

Council also approved an ordinance that will allow residents to post political signs no larger than 24-inches by 26-inches in their yards no sooner than 30 days prior to an election and for no longer than five days following an election.

Also approved by council were ordinances:

* Allocating $22, 308 to the general fund for the cost of the street department mechanic’s services for the Refuse and Recycling Department

* Changing the monthly car allowance for part time housing inspectors from $115 per month to 78 cents per hour worked

* Authorizing the board of control to enter into a contract with Tucker Ellis for bond counsel services in relation to the New Castle School of Trade project

* Authorizing advertising, accepting and awarding bids to paint the top of the purifier and to issue notes to finance the painting of the upflow clarifier.