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February marked busy month in EL

EAST LIVERPOOL — February was a busy month, according to Mayor Greg Bricker.

In addition to all the snow and ice removal and repairs to city infrastructure by city employees, there was a lot of work done that residents didn’t see.

During his report at Monday’s regular council meeting, Mayor Bricker also explained that his office has been busy, submitting projects for the state budget. In addition to the wellness center and trails, the city also is working on a transportation initiative and hoping to get $150,000 for blight removal and rehabilitation of housing within the city. “We hope to get that project off the ground by next month,” he continued. “We have no shortage of problems when it comes to our housing.”

Councilman Craig Stowers asked Bricker to elaborate on the price the city picks up these problem properties for. Mayor Bricker said the city has more than 1,700 tax delinquent properties on its rolls, so the city pays anywhere between $700 and $1,200 for each property, covering court costs. All the back taxes are wiped clean, he explained.

The goal is to get the houses rehabilitated and occupied again by families, regrowing the city’s population and tax base, Bricker said.

Council President John Torma asked Bricker about any kind of efforts in regards to the Car Barn. Torma expressed how not only is the Car Barn unsafe for employees but also not the best place to store equipment alongside the road salt.

Safety-Service Director David Dawson assured council that the new street sweeper would not be stored in the Car Barn.

Mayor Bricker said, “We have explored many options but keep striking out. It is a huge work in process.”

Council members unanimously agreed to pass three pieces of legislation, including the purchase of the Elgin Whirlwind street sweeper.

With some reluctance, they expressed concern about issues as with the past administration, which failed to supervise employees whom they said ruined the pricey equipment. However, they seem optimistic about the move under Dawson’s careful supervision.

“It is nice that we are looking at a bigger picture, but let’s not miss the little things too — such as cars parked on the wrong side of the street and couches on front porches,” added Councilman Stowers.

In other action, Gina Hart, a resident of Pennsylvania Avenue Extension, inquired when city officials were going to make improvements to her road, as the conditions are becoming more problematic. Dawson pointed out that Hart is not a city resident but one of Liverpool Township. Council advised that her township needs to repair their portion of Pennsylvania Avenue Extension and asked Barrett to reach out to the Liverpool Township road supervisor.

Council members John Mercer and Ernest Peachey have advised of plans to call meetings of the economic development and playgrounds committees later this month.

A safety committee meeting will be held at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 30, after a 3 p.m. finance committee meeting, revealed Councilman Jeff Kreefer.

County Auditor Marilyn Bosco also accepted $300 in donations for the city’s playgrounds from that committee’s chair, Peachey.

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