EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio — Legislation that will pave the way for the establishment of a riverside bike path and improvements to the Broadway wharf was approved at a special session of city council on Tuesday.
Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution allowing Mayor Greg Bricker to apply for a $246,000 grant from the Mid-Eastern Ohio Regional Transportation Planning Organization’s Capital Allocation Program Governments Association (OMEGA). He also voted in favor of an ordinance authorizing the mayor to enter into an agreement with Urban Design Associates LTD of Pittsburgh for professional services related to the Broadway Wharf.
Both pieces of legislation had been requested by Bricker and passed without comment by the council after being recommended by its finance committee, which met just before the council session.
At the committee meeting, chaired by Councilman Fred Rayl, Bricker said the city is not required to provide a matching share for the OMEGA grant at this time, but must pass the resolution at the time. supporting the grant application. The deadline to apply was that night, Bricker said.
If awarded, the grant would be used for preliminary engineering, detailed design and environmental services related to the Riverfront Trail project, which would provide multimodal and active transportation access from the city’s only public park/point of interest. access to the Ohio River between Broadway Wharf and the city’s downtown. .
In addition to providing non-motorized off-road access to downtown retail stores, attractions and schools, the trail would entice visitors arriving by boat at the wharf to walk or bike to downtown for restaurants, retail and cultural activities.
In offering to recommend the resolution to the board, Rayl called it “no brainer.”
Linda Ziegler, Ohio Avenue resident and former council member, pointed out that the city is located on the Ohio River Scenic Bi-Way, which is operated locally by the Ohio Department of Transportation. Rerouting the dual carriageway, which essentially follows State Route 11, closer to the proposed bike path could mean the two would “work together” with the “potential for positive impact,” Ziegler said.
The contract with Urban Design will also be at no cost to the city, according to Bricker, who said the $60,000 fee for six months of work will be paid for with money requested from the state’s operating budget.
Before recommending the ordinance to council for consideration, Rayl requested the timeline for the completion of the wharf master plan.
Bricker replied that he did not want to give a firm completion date at this time. The project will kick off on Wednesday when the company and others involved will tour the city and meet with business owners to begin work on the project.
As a condition of the agreement with Urban Design, a “client team” will be formed by the City to assist in the development of the master plan. Environmental Design Group will include this local team, Bricker said.
Although council did not vote on it at this extraordinary session, an ordinance has been forwarded for consideration at next Monday’s ordinary session of council which would authorize the creation and operation of a municipal service broadband to provide high-speed Internet to the city.
Drew Cooper, representing the East Liverpool Community Partnership for Revitalization, spoke to the finance committee asking for support for the measure, saying the local group, together with The Gateway Group, have retained McLernon & Associates to conduct a feasibility study to determine the viability of implementing a high-speed wireless and fiber optic network to residential and commercial locations in the city.
“The Internet is our main communication tool,” Cooper told committee members. “The high-speed, reliable internet where we do our business online is what’s attracting the attention of businesses looking to come to town.”
One of the main goals is to provide residents with an alternative and cheaper option for Internet service than currently exists, Cooper said, but added that there is an opportunity for such broadband service to become a revenue generator for the city by extending the service to other communities.
There is no cost to the city for the study, Cooper pointed out.
Bricker said the broadband project has been in the works for about 18 months, and he said it’s “in the best interest of the city,” telling the committee, “I think we’re ahead of the game on this project. “.
Pictured: The quaint architecture of Fourth Street in East Liverpool is one of the sights visitors could admire while riding the proposed cycle route being planned by city officials.
Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.