Street, project funding issues before council

FOLLANSBEE — Concerns about traffic and parking at the south end of Main Street and funding for upcoming projects were among issues before Follansbee Council on Monday.

Council heard from resident Jason Van Beveren, who expressed concern about speeding in that area of the street, which is part of state Route 2.

Van Beveren said it’s difficult for him to exit his driveway and his late father’s truck has been struck more than once while parked in that area.

He noted a driver struck a parked vehicle there on Sept. 6.

City Police said James L. Acord, 52, of East Liverpool, was northbound on Main Street near Browning Alley when he veered to the right, striking the parked vehicle.

Acord has been charged with reckless driving, driving while suspended for driving under the influence and no proof of insurance. His case is pending in Brooke County Magistrate Court.

Investigating officers believe the accident occurred because Acord became distracted, possibly by a dog in his vehicle that jumped out after the collision occurred.

According to police reports, Acord also faces a charge of fleeing on foot because he allegedly ran from law enforcement officers to a hillside near Browning Alley, where he complied with an order by a Brooke County sheriff’s deputy to stop.

Police said Acord was transported to a local hospital for treatment of apparent minor injuries. They said both vehicles sustained extensive damage.

First Ward Councilwoman Tammy Johnson, whose ward includes that area, said speeding is particularly common there late at night.

Deputy Police Chief Dan Casto said he has patrolled the area and will continue to do so.

In related business, City Manager Jack McIntosh said plans to issue parking permits to residents of the south end for the city’s new parking lot at 224 Main St. have been abandoned at least for now.

The gravel lot was created to provide parking space for the residents and deter the parking of vehicles on sidewalks, which some said was needed to prevent their vehicles from being struck by large trucks passing through the narrower section of street.

McIntosh said instead, spaces in the lot will be lined to encourage more economical use of it.

In other business, council agreed to allocate, from $1.1 million in federal pandemic relief funds awarded to the city, about $140,000 for upgrades to the city’s water and wastewater treatment systems.

Mayor David Velegol Jr. said the federal money also will be used to repair streetlights along Main Street and install WiFi boosters to them since the funds may be used to support broadband expansion.

Plans have been made to replace conduit for non-functioning lights between Allegheny and Ohio streets first, with others to follow as funds are available.

Council also approved the use of $120,000 left to the city by the late Dorothy Kotroumanis for the development of a public square using the Ray Stoaks Plaza and the section of Penn Street between Main Street and Virginia Avenue.

Velegol said grants and other funds will be sought to supplement the donation and a $45,000 grant awarded by the Charles and Thelma Pugliese Foundation.

He said potential contractors for the project visited the site on Monday as required in the bidding process. A Sept. 29 deadline has been set for the bids.

McIntosh also announced the city’s fall cleanup will be held Oct. 18-22.

Residents may leave bulky items out on their regular garbage collection days that week.

Paint that has been dried by adding sand or cat litter will be accepted. Construction materials, tires, car batteries, wet paint and oils won’t be accepted.


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