New Phila encouraging storefront improvements

New Phila encouraging storefront improvements

Image Credit: Lori Feeney

Mayor Joel Day told city council on July 11 that the Downtown Design Standards Board of Review is developing design standards for facade improvements downtown. “The board is exploring how other communities have used facade easement tax incentives to encourage property owners to restore the original look of their storefronts,” he said.

On the city website, Day said an additional goal of the DDSBR is to create a more uniform and attractive look to the area. “In addition, my administration and city council are working on legislation to create incentives to preserve landmark structures,” he said.

Day also announced the DDSBR has chosen the Gavin’s quadrant of the town square as the location for its “Love Tusc” sculpture, which will be designed by local artist Tony Contini. The sculpture is part of the Tuscarawas Arts Partnership’s county sculpture tour.

Day said the city should receive its second tranche of American Rescue Plan Act funds mid-month in the amount of $911,858. He said the money will be used to help pay for a storm sewer system to eliminate high-water problems at the West High Avenue and Fourth Street intersection, along with some additional street paving.

Still funds available for sidewalks

McAbier reported receiving and acting on three additional applications for residential sidewalk replacement since the last council meeting but said there is enough money to do even more. At the June 27 council meeting, McAbier said the city will cover half the cost of sidewalk replacement, up to $5 per square foot. Residents can download an application at www.newphilaoh.com by clicking on the red Take Action button under Hot Topics.

McAbier also said pea gravel has been used to recreate a walkway around the Tuscora Park pond now that the algae problem has been addressed. While the pea gravel may be harder for people to walk on, it is safer for the pond’s web-footed denizens.

Fireworks complaints lodged

Councilwoman Cheryl Ramos reported receiving a call from a Front Street resident about someone in the area of Bank Lane setting off commercial-grade fireworks on July 3 and 4.

Ramos said the police were called, but she was unaware of how the situation may have been resolved.

Council President Don Kemp said he spoke with Police Chief Michael Goodwin, who told him the residents were warned but not cited.

McAbier said Goodwin and Josh Mathias, the city’s zoning and building code administrator, both addressed the issue, but getting residents to comply with the city’s ordinance regarding fireworks may take time. He asked people to be patient.

Council comments

Councilman Dean Holland said the First Church of the Nazarene on Fair Avenue Northeast has recently incorporated a sign-language interpreter during its services. According to Holland, the city has a substantial population of hearing-impaired residents. “They have difficulty doing some of the things they would like to do, and one of those things is attending church,” he said.

Holland said he could not speak to whether other area churches are offering the same service but said ever since it has been added at his church, attendance has definitely increased.

In other matters

Councilman Mitch Pace asked Holland, who chairs the health board, if there was a schedule for mosquito spraying, as he has received several complaints. Holland said he was informed at the last board meeting that spraying would be done on a complaint-response generated basis. Day suggested Pace and others concerned should contact Zach Phillips at the city health department.

Legislation

Among other legislative measures, council passed the following resolutions:

—Pay $20,000 to the New Philadelphia City School District for refurbishing of the track at Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium.

—Purchase property at 1450 Ridge Ave. NE from the Ohio Department of Transportation at a cost of $16,500.

—Purchase a new ambulance and the necessary equipment from Excellence Inc. at a cost not to exceed $300,119.

—Bid up to $45,000 on a used 2019 Chevrolet Silverado dump truck with 800 miles logged, to be auctioned by the Village of Sherrodsville.