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Communities line up for share of county’s $392K in block grant money

LISBON — With about $392,000 projected available for possible Community Development Block Grant projects this year, several communities lined up on Wednesday to present their proposed projects to the county commissioners.

The village of Leetonia was the sole water infrastructure proposal this year, while the cities of East Liverpool, Salem and Columbiana, as well as the villages of Lisbon and Salineville brought applications for street rehabilitation projects.

With more than $673,000 in requests, some tough decisions will have to be made on which project will get to take the next step and apply for CDBG money this year.

Leetonia is requesting $135,000 toward a $310,395 project that would improve water pressure and flow in the southeast area of the village. The project would run a 1,600 lineal feet of 12-inch high pressure water main from Cherry Fork Avenue to Home Street.

According to Jon Vollnogle of Howells and Baird, as well as Leetonia Mayor Kevin Siembida, the project will better 110 households and three businesses in that area in the complex owned by the Columbiana County Port Authority, providing better pressure and fire protection. Additional money for the proposed project would be provided by a $135,395 Ohio Water Development Authority loan fund and $40,000 from the village’s water and sewer funds.

Salem’s Service Safety Director Joe Cappuzzollo requested $100,000 toward a $299,787 proposed project to rehabilitate both Newgarden Avenue from the city’s corporation line to the Norfolk Southern Railroad and on Mullins Street from Newgarden Avenue to South Ellsworth Avenue. About 62 households are along those 4,700 linear feet of streets and additionally, traffic studies in 2021 showed about 2,884 vehicles per days on Newgarden Avenue and 1,705 vehicles utilizing Mullins Street.

Columbiana is seeking money to repave Union Street from Lisbon Street to Main Street, which includes the intersection with South Cross. Vollnogle said the street has 41 households on it and carries a lot of traffic. In some places, bricks are coming through the asphalt, which was a brick street in the past. The estimate for the project covering 2,050 linear feet is $136,840 and the city is requesting $100,000 through the CDBG.

Lisbon’s Mayor Peter Wilson requested money to assist in the rehabilitation of East Washington Street between the intersection of South Market Street and state Route 45, which is also U.S. Route 30. Wilson points out that many people utilize the street, which parallels Lincoln Way, as a way to avoid the traffic through the downtown area, but the street is “pockmarked.” Additionally, there are 43 homes, a school, a church and a business on the street.

The village is offering to pay $10,000 toward the $174,661 project, which Wilson admits is less than the village’s more “affluent neighbors,” who presented first. However, he said the village does not want to over promise what it can afford to contribute and suggested the village would be willing to cut the project. Instead of going the entire way to state Route 45, which is 2,870 linear feet, Wilson suggested only doing the project from Market Street to Vine Street, which is about one third of the area in the initial proposal.

Salineville Mayor Linda Adams brought a proposal requesting money for the rehabilitation and repaving of Washington Street, from Main Street to the Brookview Apartments. The estimated cost of the project is $101,645 with the village requesting $91,481. The project covers 1,300 linear feet and affects 22 households.

But in addition to the homes and those living in the low-income apartments at Brookview, the street also leads to the Salineville Volunteer Fire Department and the Southern Community Center Food Pantry, which has both volunteers utilizing the roadway, as well as lines of vehicles on the days that food is distributed. Both President Scott Hart of the Southern Community Center Food Pantry and Danette Grim, the manager of Brookview Apartments wrote letters of support about the safety hazard the potholes have become. Adams said added people vote at the fire station, which also serves as a heating and cooling station during emergencies.

Finally, the City of East Liverpool Planning Department Director William Cowan requested money for a project to rehabilitate St. George Street from the intersection with River Road and State Street to the Akron Street intersection. The 850 linear feet of project will cost $91,250 and the city is requesting $82,125. The road has no curbs or sidewalks and reportedly serves 92 households.

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