Steubenville Council Addresses Neighborhood Cleanup

Several Steubenville City Council members called for more aggressive action to clean up the Pleasant Heights and LaBelle neighborhoods.

“I would like to see us start on the east end of LaBelle, because there are fewer problems there, and work west. And, on Pleasant Heights we need to start on the west side of the hilltop and work east to the streets and alleys that need to be cleaned up. If we can find who dumped a mattress in the alley then cite them — but we have to start picking up trash that is dumped in the neighborhoods,” said Councilman Mike Johnson during a City Council Planning Committee meeting Tuesday.

And Councilman Bob Villamagna called for the city administration and council members to formulate a plan and move forward.

“The D-Day invasion planning took less time than this. We need to roll up our sleeves and start the work. We have to do it. This is our town and the filth has to stop,” Villamagna said.

Councilwoman Kimberly Hahn suggested creating a small task force to focus on a few issues at a time.

“We will work through those issues and then take on the next four issues and then the next four issues. Stay limited and stay focused and we can do this,” Hahn said.

“We need to figure out a way to get people to have pride in our community. There has to be a way to get our pride back again,” added Councilman Scott Dressel.

Councilman Eric Timmons urged the creation of a citywide watch program.

LaBelle resident Ed Palombizio said when he grew up on LaBelle and Pleasant Heights, “there were no drugs, no vacant houses and no gang shootings in the streets.”

“I am willing to go out and help clean up my neighborhood if you can stop the drugs, the vacant houses and the gangs,” Palombizio said.

Johnson called for a four-day sanitation collection schedule to free up city employees for extra cleanup work. But City Manager Jim Mavromatis warned a major cleanup will cost money.

“Council must be prepared to give resources to the maintenance and repair department, the police department and the sanitation department. This will cost us to get this done. This is a continuing problem,” Mavromatis said.

Council members also heard from Maintenance and Repair Superintendent Bob Baird, who said seven dead trees in Veterans Park on Pleasant Heights will be cut down within the next several days.


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