Belmont County Port Authority Gets More Time To Market Old School in Flushing

Photo by Lenny Wittenbrook Flushing Village Council members assemble for a regular meeting last week.

Flushing Village Council voted Thursday to extend an agreement with the Belmont County Port Authority, giving the authority another two years to market the Flushing school site once the old buildings are demolished and cleared away.

Mayor Angelo Vincenzo asked for council’s permission last week to continue the partnership with the port authority that has been directly responsible for bringing a new Dollar General to the village and seen to the imminent removal of the school buildings. Those structures have fallen into an extreme state of disrepair during the 20 years since the Union Local School District consolidated its elementary program into a new building on its Morristown campus.

After council unanimously approved the extension, Councilman John Jozwiak asked for an update on the school demolition. Vincenzo said crews could show up any day and begin the work. Village Solicitor Chris Gagin agreed, saying the bid for demolition had been accepted and that the buildings would be coming down soon.

Gagin also said that barring any snags in the demolition process, it is possible that the village could come out $20,000 to $40,000 ahead with the sale of the lower part of the property to Dollar General and the asbestos abatement of the old structures being done for significantly less than the original estimate.

Vincenzo said he and Kathy Kelich, chairwoman of the Belmont County Land Reutilization Corp., or land bank, had discussed using any leftover funds to make further improvements in the village.

“I don’t even want that money coming back to the village. We don’t need to get crazy and spend it. I want it to go straight back into tearing down some of the other dilapidated structures we have,” the mayor said.

Vincenzo also informed council he was looking into purchasing a new police cruiser for the village and that he would be scheduling a committee meeting to discuss the details in the near future. Vincenzo added that he would begin issuing written warnings to residents about high grass soon.

In his monthly report, Village Administrator Bryan Clark said only 17 water meters remain to be installed for village water customers, adding that the notices issued by the mayor had helped move the work forward.

He said crews planned to send the remaining customers one more notice before resorting to shutoffs to get the meters switched.

Clark also said a sewer issue on Wood Street had been fixed, but not until a contractor had located the ball of tree roots that was causing the problem with a camera. That discovery enabled village crews to dig up the right spot.

Clark and Jozwiak discussed other problem areas that had recurring problems, including Station Hill and Bober Lane, that village crews will be attempting to fix soon.

Clark also announced the pond at Schuler Park will not have to be closed for the two weeks before the annual Ruritan Fishing Derby, scheduled for June 9, as had been discussed at the April meeting. He said arrangements had been made so it would only have to be closed from June 4-9.

Clark also announced crews would begin spraying for weed control soon on village property fence lines and that he would make arrangements so it would not interfere with any organizations that use the park to make sure the chemical has time to dissipate. Clark finished by informing council that all the regulators and tubing had been replaced at the village waste treatment plant to comply with regulations.

Councilman Chad Sutton told council the local Cub Scout Tigers had asked about planting a tree at the park as part of a project. Council approved the planting, with Clark saying council would prefer an apple, cherry or other flowering tree and would like to avoid hardwood trees due to recent blights.

Councilman Henry Williams asked what it would take to get a post office back in town, and while Vincenzo didn’t seem to think it was likely, Jozwiak said it would take a public committee made up of the right people applying pressure to the appropriate senators and congressmen to make it happen.