EAST LIVERPOOL - The Second Street recycling center could get a new home after its condition was discussed during this week's City Council meeting.
Ohio Street resident Brian Kerr reiterated his earlier concerns about the litter and debris that tend to pile up around the recycling center, which is provided through the three-county solid waste district at no charge to the city.
He again passed around photos showing the debris, saying he intends to continue doing so until something is done.
The recycling center at Second Street in East Liverpool could be relocated after complaints about people dumping litter on the property. (Photo by Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert)
Kerr also said he spoke with a member of the solid waste district who said Mayor Jim Swoger advised her he doesn't want the recycling center eliminated because out of state people use it to recycle.
Swoger later denied ever making such a comment and indicated he intended to call the woman Kerr quoted to ask if she actually told him that.
The mayor said he does not want to eliminate the recycling center due to the amount of tonnage that its use takes away from being hauled to the landfill.
Saying he understands Swoger's reasoning, council president John Torma said, "But it's hurting our city. I think we should move it," and suggested placing the recycling center at the car barn in East End where it can be monitored during business hours.
Although Kerr also has complained that there are no security cameras at the site as indicated on signs posted by Swoger, officials have said security cameras have, in fact, caught people illegally dumping at the site. The problem with convicting them arose, however, when the cameras caught license plate numbers of their vehicles and not their faces, causing the judge to dismiss the cases, according to Swoger and Service-Safety Director Ryan Estell.
Councilman Tom Cunningham called a meeting of his recycling/refuse committee for 6 p.m. April 1 to discuss the recycling center issue.
The condition of city streets also came up for discussion, prompted by complaints from Cadmus Street resident Bob Richmond, who said the water department should repair streets when it digs them up.
The issue had arisen at the last council meeting, and water Superintendent Tim Clark reiterated this week what he said then: The water department has not had the money to properly restore the streets and money expected from a successful lawsuit against Buckeye Water District has not yet been received.
He encouraged council members to attend this week's meeting of the Board of Public Utilities to voice their concerns.
Richmond also complained about the condition of streets in general, with council members agreeing, for the most part, that they are bad.
Councilman Scott Barrett said there is also no money for street repair and, although he ran for council hoping to do something about the streets, he has found council has little power when it comes to the issue.
Barrett, who also serves as road foreman for St. Clair Township, said he has his own equipment and offered to do some work but was advised the union would file a grievance if he did.
Councilman Chuck Wade pointed out collection will begin next year on a street levy voters recently approved, which should result in some repairs. Richmond encouraged council to borrow money, if need be, to do the repairs, and there has been mention among officials about possibly borrowing against next year's levy collection, although that has not yet been decided.
Swoger pointed out the spring was just hours away (at that point), indicating weather conditions will improve, allowing for street repairs to begin. He said work already has begun to prepare the street sweeper for cleaning the streets and he hopes to work with the probation department to line up community service workers to help clean streets.
Councilman Ray Perorazio said he would like to see a committee meeting held monthly to discuss the progress being made in cleaning up the town and also reiterated his belief that a tonnage fee on trucks is needed to help raise revenue to repair streets.