Asbestos next concern with Smithfield building removal

SMITHFIELD – A clean-up of burned out buildings on the corner of Main and North streets was discussed by Jason Lambright, Friends of Smithfield member, with members of Village Council at the meeting held Tuesday.

The FOS group, in conjunction with council, is holding fundraisers and asking for donations to fund removal of the debris from the ruined buildings and to landscape the area.

“A stopping point right now is the need for a written report on asbestos work that has been done. We need to have paper work on the inspection, if it was done. It needs to be certified,” Lambright said.

Inspecting the building and the adjoining structures would be costly, but it was suggested by Councilman Allan Slaughter that there might be someone in the area who could do it at a lower cost.

Nikki Pflugh, council member, conducted the meeting in the excused absence of Ted Boyd, mayor. She read the written resignation of Pat Freeland that had been submitted April 12.

“I have served the village for 18 years, as a council member, mayor and on many committees over the years. But I feel like I can no longer serve due to health problems,” she wrote.

The resignation was accepted by council members.

Linda Kovach, FOS member and a former council member, told council that Raymond Piergallini proposed to pay half the cost to repair of the approximately 170-foot village street that runs down through the cemetery. As it is deteriorating, he asked if council would be able to pay $4,100 of the $8,200 cost. No action was taken.

Kovach asked if the trailer stage belonging to the Apple Festival Committee, parked at the former Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church, could be removed from the parking lot.

“It is unsightly, with trash barrels and the bed frame for the annual race parked on the stage for all to see,” she said.

Council agreed to have it moved to the village garage on High Street, with Kovach saying her husband, Frank, would help move it.

Assistant Police Chief Tommy Thomas outlined plans for the youth during the summer.

A safety day for kids will be held July 26 at the stadium. DNA, fingerprints and pictures will be taken of the children, and a bike rodeo will be held. The fire department will work with the police and there will be some features from the Haunted House in Brilliant included, according to Thomas. There will be refreshments, and there will be a give-away contest with bicycles as prizes. Thomas asked council for the donation of two and said that donations to the rodeo would be appreciated and could be addressed to Sgt. Casey Robinson.

Also, bike helmets will be given to all children participating in the contest, along with an orange flag to put on the back of the bicycle.

Police officers will hold a “Click it or Ticket” observance on May 24, it was noted. They will be stopping cars at the intersection of state Routes 151 and 152 to give out litter bags with magnets, badges and material on seat belt usage. A motorcycle safety check will be held at the same time.

Debbie Coconaugher, fiscal officer, said the police department is trying to offer the children educational programs and to do it at no cost to the children.

Paul Green of the Northern Cemetery board reported work is being conducted to clean up the grounds. He and Tony Phillippi spent time picking up grave blankets that had not been removed, cutting bushes from the section to be mowed and removing pine trees that were planted in the past and are now unsightly nuisances.

Ron Saxton, village street superintendent, will be mowing one section of the cemetery and the other four will be mowed by Darren Pinkerton.

The Friends of Smithfield, the Backwoods Gang 4-H Club, Saxon and Phillippi have put in much work on the property over the past several years, it was noted.

Saxon said the department is waiting for the MarkWest organization to repair holes in the village streets. “If they don’t come soon, we will do it and they will pay us for the work,” he said.

Fred McGee of Wood Street had asked the street department about handicapped parking at his home and that of Dan Bigsby, who lives next door.

Bryan Felmet, village solicitor, said handicapped parking can be designated if the one requiring it obtains a doctor’s statement and submits it to the village. If there is no parking on that side of the street, it will need to be on the opposite side of the street.

Diana Holcomb, council member, is working on delinquent water bills. There has been $962 collected and more than $2,7000 worth of bills have been sent out. There are 14 accounts that have not responded and will be taken to civil court.

“We are trying to collect on the delinquent bills and will arrange to take payments if that is needed,” she said.

Sean Norman, a coach of the girls pony league, with home games played at the Smithfield recreation complex, said he had sought a grant and $10,364 has been awarded. It is a matching grant, with 275 in-kind labor hours.

“I did not realize that the village would have to pay and then be reimbursed by the Nature Works of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources,” he said.

Council approved working with Norman on the grant for work needed for the back stops, field, grounds and other repairs. There are 180 girls interested in playing in the league, he noted.