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High weeds a problem

June 20, 2012
By DAVE GOSSETT - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

STEUBENVILLE - Willie and Doris Harris are looking for a little help with the high grass and weeds on the property adjacent to their Sunset Boulevard home.

"Every year we have to go through this. The grass is very high. There are now trees growing on the property. We would like to see what can be done about this," Willie Harris told City Council members Tuesday night.

"The house on the property is in bad shape. It has gone downhill since the owner passed about three years ago. This is on Sunset Boulevard and it doesn't look good for the entire city," he added.

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Steubenville's 6th Ward councilman talks about Lovers Lane work

Fifth Ward Councilman Willie Paul said he turned the high grass issue into the Code Enforcement Office, "and it is now in the process."

According to Doris Harris, photos of the house and overgrown property have been sent to city officials.

It is a problem city officials are confronting year after year, and City Manager Cathy Davison said help is on the way.

"We will soon have three crews working on overgrown lots. And we are looking at different options on dealing with habitual nuisances," Davison said.

And as for the Sunset Boulevard property, Davison promised it will be cut.

"Sometimes you just have to keep pushing to get something done about a problem like this. We keep our property clean and neat. We don't need a property next to ours growing up like that," Willie Harris said after the council meeting.

In other matters, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 1 Ohio Valley Labor Council officially gained back financial concessions they agreed to last year.

Council approved a memorandum of understanding ordinance with the police union repealing an agreement that saw the police lose their July holiday pay in 2012 and 2013.

The legislation also repealed three unpaid furlough days for 2012 and 2013.

Also, council heard the first reading for an ordinance Tuesday night authorizing the hiring of a professional engineer for design work on the Lovers Lane roadway that may include a roundabout circle at the intersection with Fort Steuben Drive, wider driving lanes and possible mailbox drop-off sites.

"Our conceptual design at this point will see Lovers Lane widened from the current 9-and-one-half-foot lanes to 12-foot lanes. We are also looking at expanding the Lovers Lane and Sunset Boulevard intersection," City Engineer Michael Dolak has said.

"The roundabout, if we choose that option, could be 100 percent federally funded. That would be the first phase of this project. The second phase would be widening the existing lanes and the Lovers Lane and Sunset Boulevard intersection," Dolak said.

"This is long overdue. I am excited about the future of our West End and what the Lovers Lane project will mean for our residents and businesses," said 6th Ward Councilman David Lalich.

Council also heard a first reading for an ordinance allowing the rezoning of the Rose property on Lovers Lane.

The owners of the Rose by Clara's Catering have asked the city's planning and zoning commission to approve rezoning their Lovers Lane property to allow a screening and graphics company to set up shop in the building.

The planning commission will hold a public hearing on the rezoning at 7 p.m. on Aug. 6, and council will vote on the issue at the Aug. 14 regular meeting.

An ordinance authorizing the reprogramming of Community Development Block Grant unexpended funds to be used for the paving of South Sixth Street was approved on an emergency basis.

And an ordinance authorizing cooperation with the Jefferson County Regional Planning Commission for the Moving Ohio Forward Grant program was approved.

An ordinance authorizing an agreement with Toronto for commercial building inspection services to be supplied by the Steubenville building department also was approved on an emergency status.

Water Department Superintendent Bill Skinner reported the city's water system "excelled in recent state and federal tests."

"We probably have the cleanest water in Ohio. Our residents should be very pleased with the test results from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency," Skinner stated.

(Gossett can be contacted at

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