Middleport to place levy on ballot; apply for paving grant

By Kayla Hawthorne - Special to the Sentinel

MIDDLEPORT — The Middleport Village Council voted to proceed with a police levy and to apply for a grant for paving during their meeting on Monday evening.

Council unanimously voted to proceed with placing a levy on the November ballot for the police department for two mills. With full collection, the amount of revenue generated would be $40,186.96 annually.

Council also voted to adopt resolutions that would allow the village to apply for grant funding from the Ohio Public Works Commission for paving, submit a joint application with the Village of Syracuse, and to provide a 26 percent match. Village Administrator Joe Woodall said he is planning to get estimates to spend $250,000 to $275,000 on paving various streets. This would require the village to pay $65,000 to $71,500 for their match. Fiscal Officer Sue Baker said the village would have to take out a loan to pay for the match, but they are hopeful that they can make the payments with the increased revenue from the new state gas tax.

“It’s a necessary evil, that’s the unfortunate thing about it,” said council member Ben Reed of the road conditions and repairs. “We need to take some type of action to show it’s not going to be like this forever.”

Woodall said they have not chosen which streets would be paved with this funding, but he reminded council that the streets that are part of the sewer project will be paved after they finish the upgrades.

Both Middleport and Syracuse councils are hoping their grant application will be successful by combining the two villages and making the population impacted greater. The money would not be awarded until July 2020.

Council voted to remove the portable toilets from Dave Diles Park and General Hartinger Park. Council member Susan Page mentioned to council that the portable buildings have been tipped over. Solicitor Rick Hedges said the waste could be a liability for the village because of possible diseases. The village paid $150 per month for the two toilets. Both parks have permanent bathrooms that can be opened during events.

In her report to council, Mayor Sandy Iannarelli said the gymnasium at the Village Hall was open during the past weekend as a cooling station during the extreme heat. Iannarelli said she hoped the facility could be available during the winter if the electric would go off, but they would need supplies for people to stay there.

In his report to council, Village Administrator Joe Woodall said,

-The sewer project is 40 percent complete with phase 2. Phase 3 is supposed to start this fall. Woodall is going to ask if the streets can be paved after the project is 50 percent completed rather than waiting until the entire sewer project is finished. Woodall said he looks for roads throughout the village to be disturbed in places for the next five years because of a water update after the sewer project is complete.

-Woodall ordered 53 fruit trees and 12 berry bushes with funding the village had. The fruits will be planted at the Marina and will be available to the public for picking.

-The village is looking to remove the underground storage tank at the Corner Restaurant.

-Woodall will be teaching a 16-week course on water operation at the Village Hall this fall. He will be teaching the class on his own time and will not be paid by the village during the hours of the class.

-Studies are still being conducted for the Mill Street, or Middleport Hill, slip. Woodall said the environmental study is 50 percent complete. This study needs to be completed before the properties below the slip can be appraised. Woodall said construction will likely start this winter. After August 5, the village will be required to pay 20 percent of the cost. Woodall said they will likely get emergency funding to cover the cost to the village from the Ohio Public Works Commission.

-The public works department is short on employees. Woodall said they cannot keep up with the work with only three employees.

-The bricks that were removed from Lincoln Street are “secure” and will be placed back on the road at the completion of the project.

In their council member reports,

-Carolyn French said the brush at Walnut Street and North Third Street is “shoulder high.” Building Inspector Mike Hendrickson said the property is in an estate and there is nobody to contact about the issue.

-Ben Reed asked if the “road closed” signs could be moved closer to the base of the hill. There are concerns that the signage is damaging business for the Quality Print Shop. Reed also asked if signs could be placed somewhere in the village stating that council and employees understand the current road conditions, but they are working to create a better future for the Village of Middleport.

-Brian Conde mentioned to Woodall that people are on the new surface of the tennis courts with their baseball cleats. The tennis courts will be locked until the nets are installed. Conde also stated that the improvements being made in Middleport are more than just on the surface and he asked for the residents to be patient.

The next Middleport Village Council meeting will be held Monday, Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Village Hall on Pearl Street.

By Kayla Hawthorne

Special to the Sentinel

Kayla Hawthorne is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel.

Kayla Hawthorne is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel.