Friday, July 31, 2009

Wellsville Historical Society Presents "Railroads"

This coming Sunday, August 2, at 2 P.M., at the Riverside Museum, Wellsville Historical Society members Bob Lloyd & Frank Dalonzo will present a program on Railroads. This is the second in a series of special programs the Society is presenting this summer.

The railroad industry played a very big and important role in the development of Wellsville. It is an integral part of our history. First came the riverboat industry that we all should be familiar with. Following that came the railroads. Wellsville was the first in this region that had rail service. East Liverpool had a chance to be in that position but because of politics passed it up. The first train service came to town by way of Yellow Creek. Passengers and freight brought to Wellsville via river transportation connected to points beyond via rail. From its early beginnings Wellsville was always an important transportation hub. The railroads only enhanced this.

The first train station was located on Broadway with roadways on either side of the rails. When they later moved the rails along the river side they made Broadway a park, planted trees and installed fountains. At one time there were two train stations in town and a huge maintenance facility for the railroads.

You won't want to miss this interesting and special program sponsored by the Wellsville Historical Society. It is open to the public and free of admission. Also the museum will be open for touring from 1:30 - 4:30.

Shown above is a picture of early railroaders. I don't know who they are, where they are or when it was. It's another of what is thought to be Bucky Moore's collection. I just thought it was a good picture for this special presentation!

ole nib

Chamber-of-Commerce July Luncheon 7/30/09

The monthly Chamber luncheon was held at Dalonzo's on Main Street this past Thursday. The meeting was called to order by Chamber President Randy Allmon and invocation was offered by Paul Blevins.

Allmon thanked all that helped to make the auction the "huge success" it was. He said they exceeded the goal that they set. He also announced that the treated lumber for the gazebo restoration has been ordered and when that project is completed it'll be a long time before the village will have to face working on it again.

The auction was held primarily to raise funds to pay for the restoration of the gazebo which the Chamber voluntarily took upon themselves with Village Council's blessings. Everything to do with the auction was entirely donated by many organizations and individuals. Our good friends and neighbors from the Western Reserve Trade Councils even volunteered to provide the expertise & labor to do the restoration. By the time it is completed it will be a top notch job and one us folks in Wellsville will be proud of.

Allmon also announced that anyone in need of the new brochures can contact him at 330-843-3475. The new brochures are available at many businesses around town. If you haven't gotten yours yet call Randy.

President-elect Diana Spencer gave a brief overview of the forthcoming Columbiana County Chamber's Official Visitor's Guide & Business Directory. It is being put together by Digicolor, the same outfit that did the Wellsville brochure. The County brochure will be an 8-1/2X11 glossy booklet. Anyone interested in purchasing an ad in the brochure can contact Spencer or Digicolor direct by calling 1-800-352-1184. Wellsville C-of-C is a member of the County Chamber.

Business- of- the- Month for July is Robert's Funeral Home. See below for more on that.

Mrs. Lisa Ferguson, shown above, was the guest speaker at this month's luncheon. Mrs. Feguson is the Assistant Superintendent of Schools, the Principal at Garfield Elementary and Wellsville School's Federal Program Co-ordinator. She is one busy lady. With 30 years teaching experience she said she had three passions in life: sewing, working out & Wellsville schools. She gave a very interesting talk on the condition of our school system and advised that very soon every village resident will be receiving a "report card" of how the school system is doing. Did you know our system operates their own pre-school? It's at the Daw Middle School. Another note of interest is that Wellsville is one of the few schools in the entire state that has a 100% graduation rate.

The August luncheon will be at the Dairy Queen August 27 at noon. Although not sure where it came from Marge Dysert told us at her table that "Common sense is not common". I think it came from Ben Franklin or maybe Thomas Payne. I'm not sure either.

ole nib

Chamber's July Business-of-the-Month 2009

The Chamber-of-Commerce's July Business-of-the-Month is Robert's Funeral Home located at 631 Main Street here in Wellsville. It is owned and operated by Bill & Vicki Roberts.

The Robert's Funeral home has been in operation for 129 years now at the same location. It got started in 1880 as the Haugh Brothers Livery & Undertaking. Eventually it became the Haugh Funeral Home and then the Haugh Roberts Funeral Home. In 1972 it became the Robert's Funeral Home when Bill's father bought it outright. Growing up Bill's family lived on the second floor of the home. He has literally been on the fringes and part of the funeral business all his life.

As far back as I can remember it always has been a family owned & operated business. Bill was recently quoted in the newspaper saying "It is no secret who owns and operates our funeral home". Many funeral homes across the country have sold out to chain companies keeping the old name. Robert's Funeral Home remains hometown owned and run by folks that grew up and still live here. From what I can see it's going to stay that way too with Bill & Vicki's daughter Erin currently serving her internship in the business at the home.

Robert's is not only a hometown business they have long been known to support just about anything and everything in the community. They well deserve the recognition. Shown above presenting the Business-of-the-Month plaque, from the left, is Chamber President Randy Allmon, Robert's owner Bill Roberts, Erin Roberts Orr and Chamber member Brian Wallace.

ole nib

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Special Council Meeting - Wednesday - 7/29/09

A Special Council Meeting was held Wednesday at Village Hall at 2 P.M. Present were Councilmen Don Brown, Joe Soldano, John McMahon, and Tony Cataldo. Also present was Mayor Joe Surace, Fiscal Officer Dale Davis, Village Administrator Jim Saracco and Zoning Administrator Rick Williams. Rosie Goss and Randy Allmon were excused. This meeting was postponed from Tuesday due to a lack of a quorum on Tuesday.

The first order of business was a motion by Cataldo for the Mayor to accept a $60,000 Ohio Public Works grant for the 10th Street Extension repair project. The Village will add another $10,000 as their share. The project is to repair approximately 500 feet of roadway near the Springhill Cemetery entrance with improved drainage of hillside run off and to repave. That motion passed.

The area to be repaired is a S curve section that WPD Chief Joe Scarabino months ago advised Council is a serious hazard and needs to be given priority. To avoid pot holes and torn up roadway west bound travelers often go left of center setting themselves up for potential head-on collisions with motorist traveling in the opposite direction. Soldano said it has been dangerous for a long time.

The next order of business was a motion by Cataldo, with a second from Soldano, to declare an emergency for that road repair with GG&J to engineer and to by-pass the bidding process. That motion passed.

Next came another motion by Cataldo with a second from Soldano to hire Pusateri Excavating to do the job. Mayor Surace said Pusateri was the first to offer a bid on the project. That motion also passed. That section of road is expected to be closed for five days when construction begins.

Next was a motion by Soldano with a second by Brown to apply for a Dept. of Justice, Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) that passed. The grant is in partnership with the ELPD to pay for computers for cruisers. According to this morning's papers there can only be one of these grants per county. That's why the ville partnered with EL. WPD will receive $10,894 to equip the cruisers. Fiscal Officer Davis advised this grant will be administered by the county.

Following that was a motion by Cataldo with a second by Soldano to apply for a 2010 Issue I grant with GG&J to engineer for repaving Commerce Street from 9th to 15th. With a September deadline for applying looming that motion was passed. It is believed Cataldo meant Issue II as previously reported.

Council then took a roll call vote and went into Executive Session to discuss buying property. That is permissible under the State Sunshine Law. When they returned there was no discussion on any property acquisition.

What pursued was in violation of the Sunshine Law. While in Executive Session apparently discussion was held on the condition of the Village owned house at Springhill Cemetery. Cemetery Superintendent Mike Lombardozzi furnished a disc with 43 pictures and a list of problem areas mostly with the 1840 built house and some with other buildings up there. Most of the problems is water damage from leaking roofs on the porch and throughout the house. There was also mention of droppings in the attic from birds getting in due to the deteriorating condition of the eaves on the house. Upgrading the electrical service, needed insulation and door replacements were also mentioned.

When Council returned from Executive Session McMahon immediately made a motion, seconded by Cataldo, to rescind an earlier motion making it mandatory for the Cemetery Superintendent to occupy that house. At the December 16, 2008, Council meeting it was voted to make that part of the job description. That way the Superintendent would not have fair market rental counted as part of his income for taxing purposes.

In the following discussion Cataldo stated that there were 22 items that needed repair and the Village did not have the money to do it. Soldano remarked they knew back in December that repairs were needed plus needing a new garage for equipment storage and new tools. McMahon made a statement to the fact they are not trying to give Lombardozzi a hard time. It is just something the Village can't afford to do. Surace added there is just no money to make it livable. Davis added that he is not picking on Lombardozzi but as of August 1 he will have to start declaring rental value as part of the Superintendent's income in accordance with IRS regulations if he continues living there.

With Don Brown voting no the motion to rescind the earlier motion passed 3 to 1. Brown later stated that he felt the problems should have been taken care of all along and the historic house should be repaired. Lombardozzi wasn't in when I tried to call him this morning.

While Council was in Executive Session Davis stated the grant for the catch basins and paving was on hold for farther study.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:32. Next regular meeting is August 4 at 6 P.M. at Village Hall.

ole nib

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

WKMX Internet Radio

As mentioned earlier in the week wkmxlive is gearing up to bring us another season of WHS Tiger football & basketball. Bud Ceneviva, Roger Miller & Mayor Joe Surace will be back in the booth bringing us the play-by-play live via the internet. Shortly after each & every game the film will also be available for viewing. In spite of the time difference it doesn't matter if you're in town, Boston, Tampa, California, London, Paris, Germany, Iraq, the far reaches of the Orient or anywhere else in the world you'll be able to hear the games live on the computer. Just set your browser to and remember the games are broadcast live on Wellsville time.

It's all brought to you free. The guys in the booth, the people doing the filming, and the folks behind the scenes on the computers all do this on a voluntary basis. Not one of them get a penny for their efforts. They don't even get a gas allowance for away games. Some of them even dig in their own pockets to help things along.

However, that is not to mention that there are costs involved. The athletic conference charges $50 per game. Then there is the cost of running, maintaining and up-grading the equipment used. The past couple of years it was all made possible with generous donations from many businesses and individuals.

As part of that gearing up process the folks at wkmxlive are once again asking for your generous support. With each business donation they will come & make a short video of your business to be shown doing the games.

All donations can be sent to WKMX Radio, 1200 Main St., Wellsville, OH 43968. If you want to save postage give 'em a call. I'm sure they will make arrangements to pick it up.

Your support is needed and they thank you in advance.

ole nib

Bucky Moore Collection

A few weeks ago a stack of photo albums anonymously appeared sitting on the caboose at the Riverside Museum. There was no note or anything indicating where they came from. Wellsville Historical Society member Bob Lloyd, one of the railroad coffee klatch group that meet at the caboose weekly, is one of them that found this donation. He and Historical Society President Brassy Beresford tell me they believe it is part of the late Bucky Moore's collection of photographs.

I never knew Mr. Moore but they tell me he was a retired railroader that lived on Main St. I was told Bucky never went anywhere without his camera, whether he was working or not. Sounds familiar. Bob tells me this donation contains over 700 pictures. Most of them are of trains which I'm sure will be part of next Sunday's special program on railroads at the museum. Bob digitalized the entire collection and now has them on discs. Included on the disc is some pictures of the ville as it use to be. I think most of those pictures were taken in the early part of the 1950s. Shown here is the 4th Street Square Memorial as it looked back then. Additionally I put a few more in a series with a brief history of what I recall. Please feel free to add any comments of what you recall. The ones I've shown really brought back a lot of memories for me personally. There's a few more of different locations but we'll save them for later.

These are the kinds of pictures that really get me excited. Seeing parts of the ville that is long gone is part of learning of how we got to where we are today. I thoroughly enjoy getting into the ville's history and have been kicking myself for not joining the Historical Society long ago. Every time I go over to the museum I see something new. It is a treasure trove of Wellsville history and with donations like this it keeps growing.

If you're or anyone you know are cleaning out old things that relate to the past, especially Wellsville, please keep the Society in mind. I often wonder how many old pictures and notes have been thrown out, that were part of someone's collection, by people who can't relate to them. That's part of history that will never be saved. That's a shame.

Thanks to Bob Lloyd & the Historical Society for the loan of the disc. Hope you don't mind that I posted a few of them. After looking at them yesterday evening I couldn't wait to get started this morning.

ole nib

Dairy Queen

Back earlier in the month in one of my Notes columns I showed a picture of the Dairy Queen as it looked early on. Here's a better one.

When the DQ first came to town it was located on Wells Avenue facing the intersection with Route 45. Over the years it was remodeled and expanded but this is what it looked like when it was first built in the early 1950s. Eventually it was torn down and rebuilt. Dalonzos Pizza was located there at one time and it is now the Oriental resturaunt.

Being part of the neighborhood on Highland Avenue I remember it well. May French use to live in one of the houses in that row of houses you see in the background on the other side of Wells. She worked there and I think she use to give us neighborhood kids an extra swirl on those nickel cones. Yea, you could get a nickel ice cream cone back then. I think the biggie went for 25 cents. We kids use to scrounge the neighborhood for empty pop bottles, sell them back to the Amoco gas station that was on the other side of the DQ and spend our hard earned money on ice cream. That gas station was runned by Virgil Koontz back in the days when they recycled pop bottles. You got 2 cents for every bottle you brought back.

Can anyone tell me if the DQ was built before or after the Tastee Freeze across the street? I can't remember for the life of me. However, I do remember we gave them both a lot of business even if it was just nickle & dime stuff!

This picture is part of what is believed to be the Bucky Moore collection recently donated to the Wellsville Historical Society & Riverside Museum.

When I saw these pictures it was like what Yogi Berra use to say. It's deja vue all over again...

ole nib

Tastee Freeze

How many of you remember the Tastee Freeze? It was located on Wells Avenue across the street from the car wash that is up there now. Here's a couple of pictures of what it looked like. It was an ice cream stand with parking on both sides of the building. They specialized in anything you could do with ice cream as part of the ingredients.

It was built, owned and operated by former Wellsville residents John & Irma McGarey. They ran it until their retirement when they relocated to Arizona. The cannon was one of two that was a war memorial next door. It was part of the old Roadside Park. Those cannons are now located in Springhill Cemetery by the chapel.

Like the Roadside Park, the Tastee Freeze and all the houses on that side of Wells Avenue were taken out with the expansion of Route 7 into a four lane. About the only thing that remain of that side are the trees that line Wells Avenue. Before the expansion Wells Avenue was part of Route 7.

These photos are part of what is believed to be the Bucky Moore collection donated to the Wellsville Historical Society & River Museum.

ole nib

Roadside Park

Before the days of the four lane Route 7 there was a Roadside Park on both sides of Route 45 at the intersection with Wells Avenue in the ville. Here's a picture of what one side looked like. It was taken looking out Route 45 going away from the ville.

The fore front of the old park is now what we called Phyllis's Park named after the late Phyllis Thrasher. The Route 7 overpass now goes through the middle of the old park.

This is a picture included in what is believed to be the Bucky Moore collection donated to the Wellsville River Museum.

ole nib

Old Substation

On the corner of Lisbon & 3rd Street in Wellsville across from the gas station at one time there was an electric substation on the hillside. Believe it was owned and operated by Ohio Edison.

The substation and the building are long gone but this is what it looked like in my younger days. Believe it was taken out in the 60s when they made Route 7 into a four lane. Later on the land was used as a car lot by the Koontz Auto Sales before they moved to 3rd & Broadway. The front of the building started falling a few years ago and it had to be razed.

This photo is from the Bucky Moore collection donated to the Wellsville Historical Society.

ole nib

Wellsville Elks 1040

This is what the Wellsville Elks Lodge looked like before the ball room/reception hall was added on. Think this picture, from the Bucky Moore collection, was taken in the early 1950s.

Don't know the history on this house but what is now the Wellsville Elks was originally built as a private residence on Riverside. Maybe someone can fill us in on more details. Believe it was built in the late 1800s.

ole nib

Monday, July 27, 2009

Notes From Last Week

The big fountain is back on Broadway. We'll have more on it later. Gonna let the newspaper run it first. Ladies before gents...

Tomorrow is the last day for the Library's Be Creative @ Your Library series for the young people. It starts at 10 A.M. Tomorrow's program is "Magic with Greg Carson". They were excited about this one. It's all free.

Piece in last week's paper reporting the county unemployment rate for June jumped 1.4 points to 14.7%. It hit 15 % in 1982 when Crucible Steel closed down and associated businesses started following suit. According to that report the high back then was in 1983 when it hit 21%. Talking to a laid off neighbor today that told me he now has 68 job applications floating out there and not a nibble on a single one. It's no wonder he's despondent.

The County Courthouse clock is working once again. According to newspaper reports County Commissioner Jim Hoppel went ahead and had the work done using parts that have been there since 1934. It only needed a new motor & some new bushings. The bill hasn't come in yet but Hoppel was quoted as saying it should last for years. The clock face and hands are the same ones that were originally installed in 1873.

In another newspaper report it said Baard V.P. Steve Dopuch told the Port Authority last week that the financial markets are beginning to show renewed interest in the proposed Coal-to-Liquids plant. We certainly hope so. As they said in a MJ editorial last Friday it brings hope to Wellsville and the county.

The Wellsville Historical Society had their regular meeting last week. East Liverpool Attorney Tim Brookes was the program speaker. Believe Brookes is President of the EL Historical Society and he is noted for being a Civil War buff plus an expert on the capture of Pretty Boy Floyd. He presented a program on estate planning. He's an expert on that too.

One of the donations the Historical Society got this month was a box of photos that Brookes brought with him. They originally belonged to Miss Isa Anderson who was a long time school teacher in the Wellsville school system. I don't know much about Miss Anderson other than she use to live in a little house on Broadway.

The Historical Society won't be meeting in August but they will present a program Sunday, August 2, at 2 P.M. on the history of the railroads in the ville. The program is being put on by Bob Lloyd & Frank Dalonzo. The railroads played a big role in Wellsville's past.

The annual Italian Festival starts up a week from this Thursday on August 6. This yearly event sponsored by the Wellsville SOI is always a good time with lots of entertainment & good eats. The entertainment schedule is already posted on Mark your calendar for August 6, 7 & 8.

The folks at wkmxlive are gearing up for another season of internet broadcasting of the WHS football games. The Tigers open at home Friday, August 28 against Strasburg.

The "angels" from the Alley Cat Aid Brigade tell me there probably will not be another pet food give away until October. Although it is in the very early planning stages the next give away will be at the "Howling Harvest Moon Festival". If everything comes together it sounds like lots of fun.

A commenter said they would like to see a picture of the old McQueens Run Diner run by the Vensile family. We're working on that. Someone told me they use to call it Venesile's Spaghetti house. I've never heard of it before now. Can anybody else help us out here?

That's it for this week. Can't believe we're already talking football.

ole nib

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Guaranteed Good Milage

This previously owned vehicle is now on the market and is guaranteed to eliminate all concerns about the price of gasoline. Equipped with heavy duty suspension it has head lights, tail lights, rear view mirrors, safety reflectors and a braking system. Never need to change the oil.

Believe the buyer has to supply their own horse power...

ole nib

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Council Meeting - Tuesday - 7/21/09

Council met in regular session Tuesday evening. All Council members were present except Rosie Goss & Randy Allmon. Also present was Mayor Joe Surace, Village Administrator Jim Saracco, Fiscal Officer Dale Davis & Village Solicitor Andy Beech.

For the Public Speaking portion Center Street resident Mary Bucher said WFD Chief Smith has been in touch with her and they are well on their way to resolving any questions she has put forth at previous meetings.

Lincoln Avenue resident Marlene Corbisello addressed Council in regards to a neighboring property she considers unkempt. Village Administrator Jim Saracco advised the property has been inspected by the CC Health Dept. The accumulated stuff around the fence is considered trash - not garbage - and is not considered a health risk. The Mayor advised a junk car has already been removed and that he has inspected the garage. He stated there is not a lot of garbage in there. Most of the contents in there would not be considered junk. However, the owner said he will be getting a dumpster to clean up the rest of the stuff. Corbisello then went on advising she is concerned about "the cats having a party going in and out of broken windows" on the house.

Broadway resident Dawn Johnson announced the defunct Broadway Tree Committee will be holding a dedication ceremony for all those that donated and contributed to the Broadway beautification project. It is to be held Saturday, August 8, at noon and will probably be in the area of 7th Street & Broadway. According to the newspapers there will be food & music. The public is invited. Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources Director Sean Logan will be present. Johnson further stated this is scheduled for the week-end of the Italian Festival to facilitate folks that may not normally be in town.

There were no Administration Reports.

For Committee Reports Finance Committee Chairman Tony Cataldo's motion to accept the budget for 2010 was approved. The budget shows a beginning balance of slightly over $975,126 and an ending balance of $1,091,475. Only the General Fund shows a deficit of $55,505.72 and the Fire Levy Fund shows a deficit of $174.14. All other funds are predicted to end with a positive balance. Cataldo stated after the meeting that the figures on this preliminary budget will be revised many times. Fiscal Officer Davis was quoted in the papers as saying "the premise is you'll spend every cent and that doesn't happen".

Also approved was Cataldo's motion authorizing the Fiscal Officer to proceed to finalize a $275,000 loan from Central Federal. The loan is to reimburse various funds were money was borrowed to finance the 2007 Village Hall roof repair.

Cataldo also announced he will be calling a Finance Committee meeting for some time next week.

For the Street Committee Chairman Joe Soldano said they are working on a list for streets to be repaved. Soldano noted that hopefully some will get done this year but it will probably be next spring.

For Water, Sewer & Refuse Committee member Tony Cataldo's motion to apply for a grant for up to $200,000 from the USDA Rural Development was passed. The grant is for sewer catch basin replacements and some paving. If the grant is rewarded the paving schedule is for the following: Main from 17th to 18th Street where the one side is sinking in, 16th St. from Main to Clark, 18th St. from Clark to Chester, Maple St. from 15th to 18th, Aten from Commerce to Clark, Center from 9th to 15th, 11th from Main to Commerce, 14th from Commerce to Chester and Chester from 15th to 17th.

They plan to use Issue II money next year to repave Commerce from 9th to 15th.

Also, after the meeting Cataldo advised that Tuesday morning the Ohio Public Works advised Village officials that up to $70,000 will be available to repair 10th St. Extension up near the cemetery. That would be to improve the hillside drainage and to repave. OPW wanted to know what the Village could pay as their share and they advised the village could go up to $10,000. At this time it is unknown if this will be a loan or a grant and they are waiting for an OPW response about the share portion.

The final Cataldo motion approved by Council was a Sewage flat rate increase for the next five years. The money received from this increase will be put into the Capitol Improvement fund. The increase is $1/month for the first year and 50 cents/month the next four years. That will amount to a $12 increase on sewage bills for the first year. The increase is to take effect January 1, 2010.

There were no other Committee Reports.

For the Mayor's Report Surace got Council's approval to upgrade WPD Officer Tyler Holland from the Reserve ranks to Part-Time status. Holland is a canine officer with the Norfolk Southern Railroad.

Surace also announced he will ask Council's approval for the new members of the Tree Board at the next regular meeting. He had hoped to have that ready for this meeting but was unable to do so.

There was no new legislation or new business. The next meeting is scheduled for August 4 at 6 P.M. at Village Hall. This will be the only Council Meeting for the month of August.

ole nib

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Notes from Last Week

Got behind trying to finish the book I was reading. Now I'm trying to catch up.

After two weeks of haggling back & forth we Ohioans have a new, two year, $50.5 billion budget that is going to touch everything that depends on state funding. They say it is a recession but it is very depressing. With the down turn in the economy bringing high unemployment there is decreasing revenue from wage taxes and other fees paid to the state. The money is simply not there to carry on as usual.

Being hit hard is our libraries. According to a report out of the CC Auditor's office the Wellsville Library will be cut an additional $65,530 this year compared to last. That works out to a 15.6% reduction and this comes at a time when library usage is on the up swing.

Eric Dillard's sentencing has been scheduled for Monday, August 3, at 2:30. Found guilty of murder in April the sentencing was delayed for a motion's hearing.

The Hollow Rock Camp Meetings are going on this week. It happens once a year each summer. These meetings originated back in the early 1800s.

Village Administrator Jim Saracco announced last week that using telephone poles to hang signs for yard sales or other events "will no longer be tolerated". It was never permitted in the first place. Utility workers that may have to climb those poles usually wear insulated gear that can be easily be torn with the nails and staples that are used to hang the signs. That makes it dangerous and Jim said the signs & fasteners have to come down.

The Tree Board is ready to move on with a list of new members waiting for the Mayor to get Council's approval. I sincerely wish them good luck and look forward to them continuing the good work that has been done in the past. The Board meets on the second Monday of the month at 6 P.M. at Village Hall.

Nice bust by the WPD of the fellow that robbed a village gas station back in May. Seems he came back last Sunday for another robbery attempt but the clerk recognized him and refused to open the cash drawer. Saying he would be back he left. The police caught him a couple of blocks away.

Kudos & big thanks to Brian Wallace. He's one of the union members that belong to the Chamber. Last Saturday he donated his time and efforts welding some of the bands and making other reinforcements on the kiln at 3rd & Lisbon, once again proving those guys are good neighbors. It's nice to have those folks around. Did you know that the kiln is jointly owned by the Village and the Wellsville Historical Society?

One tidbit Henry Nemenz mentioned about Save-A-Lot bakeries is that all their cakes are made from scratch. Other chain stores such as Giant Eagle & WalMart use frozen cakes that are shipped in. They simply thaw them out and decorate them. No home made touch there. A new Save-A-Lot bakery is in the plans for the ville.

One Wellsville resident concerned that the Obama Administration & the Democrats are leading this country to a totalitarian government & socialism got her letter in both our local papers this past Sunday and it was in the Pittsburgh Trib-Review on Monday. At issue seems to be the health care proposals they are working on. I'm not sure if I'm for it or not but AARP has come out solidly backing the new proposals. According to AARP there are 47 million Americans without health coverage today with more than 7 million between the ages of 50 - 64 years old. That's a big chunk of our population.

Worrying about funding cuts and budget concerns the Wellsville Board-of-Education approved a pay raise for members last week. It will only apply to new or newly re-elected members. What's up with that?

Saturday is the 1st Annual "Nite Golf" being sponsored by the WVFD. It starts at 9:30 P.M. out at the Par 3 on Route 7. Don't know if it's too late to get a team in still yet. You can call 330-831-9061 to check.

ole nib

Friday, July 17, 2009

Fountain Follow-up

It was a week ago yesterday that the crew from Steveson Company hauled the big fountain from the middle of Broadway Park up to the shop for some much needed repair and renovation. Asking Village Administrator Jim Saracco the other day if he has heard anything he said "you should go up and check it out. It's beautiful."

So, between the meetings yesterday, that's exactly what I did. Those guys at Steveco are as proud as new daddies hovering around showing off their latest project. Although I didn't get a cigar those "daddies" included the guys that work there and the owners. When I walked in the place I didn't see the fountain and Denny Wright asked if he could help me. When I told him Jim sent me up to check out the fountain his eyes lit up and he took me right to it.

Shown here is what it looks like right now. What's left of that decorative braiding around the stem is made of brass. It really looks pretty now that all the paint has been removed. Those talented guys are using what is left to make molds to replace the missing parts with a polyurethane braiding. Once the molds are made they are putting the original pieces back on and will complete the trim with the newly made plastic parts. When they repaint it you won't be able to tell what's brass and what's plastic. That's Jason Keyes you see part of behind the stem. They were able to take the tilt out of it and straighten it up.

The fountain has been completely sand blasted down to the bare metal and now sits on its new stainless steel base. They discovered the bowl was just sitting on the pedestal. It had been welded before but those past repair jobs were all cracked. There were some gaping holes around the bottom of the bowl that will be welded and those connections will be filled in with more polyurethane to smooth it out back to the original design. The details on the fountain will really stand out once they complete the renovation. They are even adding a decorative touch of their own design around the bottom of the stem where it sits on the base.

There's still some work to be done but I can see why these guys are proud of what they are doing. They do top notch work. When it's done you'll think it's brand new. Wellsville Historical Society President Brassy Beresford confirmed last night that particular fountain is one of the originals. The have antique post cards at the museum with that fountain pictured on one of them. With the help from the fellows at Steveco that fountain will be around long after I'm gone.

ole nib

Crime Watch Committee Meeting - Thursday - 7/16/09

The Crime Watch Committee held their regular monthly meeting yesterday evening, July 16, at Village Hall. Their meetings are scheduled for the third Thursday of every month at 6 P.M.

Discussion was held on donating clips for the new stinger guns to the WPD. Last month members of that department put on a live demonstration of the new weapons that all Wellsville police officers now carry. The stinger guns work the same as the more widely known taser guns to temporarily disable an aggressive & combative offender.

Discussion was also held on the possibility to hold some future meetings in different neighborhoods around the village in hopes to get more people involved with this committee. It's food for thought and more discussion will be held at the next meeting on this subject.

It's kind of sad that attendance has fallen off for this committee. Seems everyone says the police should be doing this or the police should be doing that. However, the police can not be everywhere all the time. It doesn't matter what size community or police force you're talking about. It just isn't possible. In a community, especially the size of Wellsville, the police need our help. The most simple and easiest help any resident can give is to just pick up the phone and call if you see any crime being committed or even see something suspicious. Many problems can be nipped in the bud with just that little bit of help. You don't have to get involved or even give your name.

Personally the Crime Watch Committee would like to see lots of people in the village get involved. No one is asking you to get in the middle of any type of crime that goes on. This Committee provides an open forum for anyone to discuss their concerns or problems. There's many opportunities to meet some of our officers and to get your concerns relayed to village officials. Even if an officer can't make one meeting or another your concerns and views will be passed on to the authorities. That's the only involvement needed from anyone that would like to see our home town become a little nicer place. You won't be put on public display as some one pointing a finger.

Think about it. The next meeting is August 20 at Village Hall. Hope to see you there.

ole nib

Sewage Committee Meeting - Thursday - 7/16/09

A Sewage Committee meeting was held by Committee Chairman Randy Allmon yesterday, July 16 at Village Hall. The meeting was held to discuss two grant applications to be recommended to apply for at the next regular Council meeting and a raise in sewage rates. Present at the meeting was Allmon, Tony Cataldo, Don Brown, Joe Soldano & Jim Saracco.

The first grant would be from stimulus money available for storm sewers and sidewalk removal & replacement. Being under the poverty level limit guide lines it was found out the village is eligible for $260,000/$270,000 with the village share being around $70,000. A loan can be obtained paying 3.75% interest over a 40 year period for the village share.

The Committee decided to recommend applying for this grant to replace 45 catch basins or sewer drops and replacing some sidewalk corners. The grant is available on a first come/first serve basis and the village is one big step ahead having already getting the engineering completed for this project. That was done a few years ago for the same project that fell through.

The second grant is from Issue II money for next year. It is for bridges, paving or practically anything having to do with the village infrastructure. According to Committee members it is the Mayor's wishes to use this for paving Commerce Street from 9th to 15th Sts. The village will be eligible for $176,000 from this grant. There is a September dead line to apply and the Committee will recommend that Council approve application be made as soon as possible.

Last on the agenda was a sewage rate increase to be effective the first of January, 2010. The Committee will recommend that a flat rate increase of $1 per month for the first year and an additional 50 cents a month for the next four years be approved by Council. It has been seven years since the last sewage rate increase. Money from the rate increase will be placed into the Capital Improvement funds. That way it could be used for anything.

The Committee advises they should get word by next week on the application to the Ohio Public Works Commission for funds for the 10th Street Extension repair project. They are still waiting for word on the application to OMEGA for the money to finish up the Sewage Treatment Plant project started last year.

Next regular Council Meeting is Tuesday, July 21 at 6 P.M.

ole nib

Buckeye Water District Meeting - Thursday - 7/16/09

The regular monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees for the BWD was held Thursday morning, July 16, in Council Chambers at Wellsville Village Hall. All members were present except for Dave Lloyd and the vacationing Tim O'Hara & Chuck Bibbee. Also present was District Manager Al DeAngelis, Sara Crouch and Tracy.

As previously reported the bids for a primary depository was tabled by the Finance Committee until more information can be obtained for various fees.

For the Treasurer's Report a budget adjustment was approved for $9,936 for Dallis Dawson. That is the engineering firm working on the Salineville project. Also approved by a roll call vote, retroactive to July 1, 2009, was the movement of $3 million into a money market account. That move was made to earn a better interest rate. Sara Crouch reported that there is still $795,000 in an escrow account in Star Ohio for the reservoir. That money should be released sometime in the fall.

For Operations, District Manager Al DeAngelis advised the slippage at the Route 45 Water Tank needs an okay to be fixed. He felt it should be done with pilings. Estimating the project will cost $160,000, the district has $80,000 for this job from Ohio Public Works Commission and the approval of USDA to use funds from another grant for the rest. Following a contentious discussion it was decided to put that job up for an engineering bid. DeAngelis told the Board that the slippage is getting to be an emergency & he has been told by the EPA to get it fixed.

Stating that a bridge at the Salineville Water Treatment Plant is unsafe it has been decided to replace the decking for a cost of $1,400 using 3X6 oak planking and stainless steel bolts. Saying there is nothing wrong with the steel beams just the decking will be replaced. The CC Engineer's Office proposed using steel decking at a cost of $12,000 for the job. Work will be performed by BWD personnel.

There will be a County Liaison Committee meeting July 28 at the County Engineer's office. The meeting will start at 10 A.M.

Gene McGaffick, for the Engineering Committee, reported bids for Phase I of the Salineville project will be published today, July 17. Phase I will include running a water line from the new Water Treatment Plant to somewhere around Southern Local High School along Route 39. Bids will be opened Friday, August 7, at 10 A.M. at Wellsville Village Hall.

Bob Wines reported that it will necessary to get bids for the truck bed for a new crew truck that is being purchased. The bed was not covered on the state bid. Being purchased from O S Hill the new truck in an International with a 3000 Allison.

For the Insurance Committee it was reported they are working with the County Commissioners for renewal of health coverage. They are looking at a few changes but nothing major has been changed yet. Claims for the last quarter were up. No changes will take effect until next year.

For the District Manager's Report it was reported that no charges for recovery was made from the State Audit for 2008. There were a few minor changes recommended in book keeping procedures that are being implemented.

Stating he was disappointed it wasn't in record time, the Chairman closed the 9 o'clock meeting at 9:23. Without copies of reports or previous minutes no wonder it's difficult to keep track of the proceedings.

ole nib

Chamber Hosts Big Announcement

At their monthly Business After Hours event the Wellsville Chamber-of-Commerce played host to Mr. Henry Nenenz, owner of Save-A-Lot, for him to announce plans for a $2 million expansion of the Wellsville facilities. Mr. Nemenz is also a member of the Chamber. The event was held at the stately, historic house of Mrs. Pauline & the late Roy Carmichael's home on Riverside. The event was well attended with all three County Commissioners, local dignitaries, Chamber members, media and guests present.

Mr. Nemenz stated that his father started in the grocery business opening his own store in North Lima, Ohio, in 1930. From those roots he has 52 years experience in the grocery business and he and his son are owners of 17 Save-A-Lot stores from Ashtabula to Wellsville. He also owns three IGA stores in the Youngstown area. Additionally he added that the Wellsville store, on a monthly basis, is either number one or two for sales volume.

Shown here detailing plans for the new facilities, Mr. Nemenz said they will be building a new store basically in the present day parking lot. The new store will measure nearly 22,000 square feet and will be equipped with all new, energy efficient coolers, refrigerators, freezers and user friendly shelving. The parking area will be expanded from the present lot down to Mill Street. The two story block building will also be razed to accommodate additional parking and egress. Saying the old store is "tired" Mr. Nemenz said it made more sense to build new rather than trying to renovate and expand the present store. However, there are plans to use the old building once the new store opens.

Mr. Nemenz advised there will be absolutely no interruption of business with the proposed construction. Once the new building is completed and stocked they will end the grocery business in the old store at the regular closing hour on one day. The next day they will open at the regular time in the new building.

Once that is accomplished Mr. Nemenz plans to convert the old store into something that "Wellsville doesn't have now". Shown here are the plans for that. Included in those plans are a potential pharmacy, a coffee shop, deli, bakery, banquet facilities, a State Liquor Store and a restaurant/bar. In addition to these shops a deck will be built all along the back of the building over looking the scenic Ohio River for outdoor dining enjoyment. Obtaining the liquor permits is currently in progress. They presently have a carry-out license for beer and wine.

Once financing is arranged bids for the construction will be put out. From ground breaking to completion it is expected to be around 120 days. It is hoped to break ground before the end of the year. When all is completed Mr. Nemenz expects to add 35 - 40 new jobs to staff the facilities.

Praised for his innovative and progressive planning, I think Mayor Joe Surace summed it up when he told Mr. Nemenz "great things are going to happen in Wellsville and you are kicking it off". One long time observer of Mr. Nemenz told me "if Henry says he's going to do it, it'll get done". As did the Mayor, other officials present offered any assistance they could render. County Commissioner Jim Hoppel said that "although this is taking place in Wellsville it's great news for the county too".

ole nib

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Do You See What I See?

While checking out the new murals last Monday this caught my eye. Located under the Route 7 overpass is this rock formation near the Little Yellow Creek. The picture has been cropped to high light the area I'm talking about. It got me to wondering if Mother Nature is providing us with a new Indian head.

At one time we had a much larger one not far from there. It was part of the same hill side, just a little farther down the street. There is a painting of it on one of the murals. That Indian head was blasted away when they built Route 7 into a four lane in the 60s. It was a Wellsville landmark. Spotting this got me to wondering if this is nature's way to replicate what was there.

Can you see it? I can see a profile of a forehead, nose, mouth, cheek and chin. Maybe I was in the sun too long!

ole nib

Buckeye Water District Finance Committee Meeting

In preparation for the regular monthly meeting the BWD Finance Committee met yesterday, July 14, at the Water Treatment Plant. Part of the meeting was to compare the three submitted bids for determining who will be the depository for their banking business in the future. Present at the meeting were Board members Gene McGaffick & Bob Wines, District Manager Al DeAngelis and BWD Financial Officer Sara Crouch.

The Committee reviewed receipts & expenditures for the month of June. Operational income for June was $304,690.91 while expenses totaled $576,032.51. Expenses were up for June mostly due to a major loan payment that had to be made. Although I didn't get a figure for a balance of the funds on hand the district is in good financial shape.

It was noted that receipts for June were up and that trend should continue for the next couple of summer months. Customers are watering lawns & gardens, filling swimming pools and if this dry spell continues the demand for water will increase that much more.

Also noted was that the cost of making potable water is up. That was mostly attributed to the costs involved in taking over supplying water to the Village of Salineville and additional testing required by the EPA for the new Water Treatment Plant. Salineville is still using their old Water Treatment Plant. That means that, at the least, there are two BWD treatment plant operators on duty at all times. That doubles everything from the cost of wages, holiday pay and benefits. That will continue until the Salineville project is complete and they go on line with water supplied from the new plant. The increased frequency of testing being required by the EPA will eventually get back to a normal schedule once they determine the new plant is doing the job. With a new water source and plant the extra testing is standard operating procedure demanded by the EPA.

The decision on recommending a future depository for banking was tabled by the Committee. After drawing up a comparison table of the three bids it was decided there was insufficient information submitted to make that determination. Once the blanks are filled in it will be rescheduled for a future meeting.

Bids for Phase I of the Salineville project are going out this Friday. Bid opening for that will be 10/7/09. Tentative plans are being made to have a Public Open House at the new Water Treatment Plant for August 12. We'll let you know when those plans are solidified. Next regular meeting is tomorrow, July 16, at 9 A.M., at the Wellsville Village Hall Council Chamber.

ole nib

Floodwall Murals Continued

Although still a work in progress here is the newest mural and the next one that artist Gina Hampson is working on. Gina wasn't around when I stopped by but she was somewhere near-by. I didn't want to bother her if she was taking a lunch break.

Nearly completed is a painting of the Prezzia Shoe Shop. That shop was located on Main Street next door to Kat's Kitchen. The first floor front of the house had the shoe shop and the Prezzia family home took up the rest of the residence. When I was growing up it was one of three shoe shops in town that I remember.

Things were different in the days I was growing up when it came to shoes. Shoes were mostly American made and were made to last. If the heels wore down or a hole in the sole appeared they were taken to the shop to be repaired. When you picked them up they were as good as new and shined with a complimentary polishing. With parents that grew up through the depression years shoes weren't thrown out. They were passed along to younger siblings or maybe cousins if you out grew them. Folks like Mr. Prezzia made a decent living providing this service. They were artists in their own right. It was a piece of life that is sadly part of a long gone era.

As I said Gina wasn't around but she did have a sketch taped up of her next mural. It's fairly self explanatory on what it is going to be. We'll have more on it in the future.

ole nib

Monday, July 13, 2009

Notes From Last Week

Where is this summer going? It's hard to believe that when I look at the calendar we're already approaching mid-July. They say time flies when you're having fun.

In covering last week's Council meeting I noted Covenant Presbyterian member Mr. Waggle addressing Council about the 18th Street Playground. That congregation has put a lot of time, effort & money to make that playground a nice place for our village youth. I simply can't figure out why some are determined to undo all the good they have done. It's probably just a few trying to ruin it for everyone else. I just don't understand it but right now the residents in that neighborhood need to step it up with their own crime watch efforts. That's the only involvement that is necessary. If you see something call the WPD. You don't even have to give your name. Just call & let the police check it out. Thankfully the good folks of Covenant haven't given up but the frustration is evident.

Something else I learned at that meeting I didn't know is that the Village Pound only keeps animals for 72 hours. If not claimed by then they are sent to the county who tries to place them with one of the animal rescue leagues.

The condition of our flood wall and the gates is worrisome to say the least. Those three gates in our system are one of a kind in the nation. With two of the six pumps not working, if those gates would fail to hold rising flood waters it would be disastrous for our village. If this isn't a priority for use of stimulus money to save our infrastructure it surely should be. A couple of million spent now to prevent many of millions in potential future flood damage is a good investment in not only our tax dollars but those at state & federal levels too. Look at the state & federal money spent in Louisiana to recover from the levies failing down there with Hurricane Katrina.

I think it's tomorrow - the 14th - that the politicians take another look at the new state budget. Strickland offered to supply pizza & pillows until they get it worked out. It came out in this morning's papers that the cut in library funding would be reduced by two-thirds of what the governor originally proposed. That reduction in cuts may just be enough to save the libraries that would be serious trouble. I surely hope so.

In the mean time the Wellsville Library keeps plugging along. Tomorrow's "Be Creative @ Your Library" activities for area youth is called Music Everywhere. It starts at 10 A.M. and is free. This is the sixth week of the summer programs designed for the young ones. It's just one of the many services provided by our library.

Another agency plugging along is the Community Action that provides the CARTS transportation around the county. In spite of cuts in state funding and increased prices they are maintaining the level of service they provide according to a Tom Giambroni story last week. They give rides at a small fee to folks that would otherwise have no way to go anywhere. Their vehicles are often seen in town.

From what I see in the Morning Journal with editorials and Letters to the Editor folks are favoring the Landmark Foundation's solution to repair the courthouse clock in Lisbon. I have to agree with them. As long as it looks like the antique clock from all outward appearances what difference does it make?

The ordinance for the amusement fee that was amended by Council last week is retroactive to January 1, 2009. If you have already paid the higher fee contact the Fiscal Officer's office for details on your options.

Don't forget the "Nite Golf" fund raiser sponsored by the WVFD. It's at the Par 3 on Saturday, July 25. There is still time to register at the Fire Station. You can call 330-831-9061 for more info.

Kudos should go out to Village Street Dept. workers Kevin Fullerton & Dave Rossen for doing all the grunt work getting things ready for the big fountain to be moved last week. They also handled the clean up chores getting things ready for the new cement later that afternoon. It's evident they take pride in doing the job right.

The 2009 Elks Riverside Reunion videos are now downloaded & ready for your viewing. Hootch2 & Susie did a bang up job of getting them on there for everyone to see from here to the far reaches of the world. All you have to do is go to , skip the intro and click on "photo album".

If you missed the street car program yesterday at the Riverside Museum, you missed a good one. Just seeing some of the pictures of the ville in those days was interesting. The Historical Society's next program will be about the rail roads. Did you know Wellsville had rail service before East Liverpool? Next to river boats the rail roads played an intricate part in the history of the ville's progress. The program will be presented by Historical Society members Bob Lloyd & Frank Dalonzo on Sunday, August 2, at 2 P.M. Bob was telling me yesterday that he recently got a huge treasure trove of historical railroad pictures to add to his extensive collection. As always the program is open to the public and free of admission.

See you around the ville...

ole nib

"Take The Yellow Car"

It was called "the route of a million souls" for the number of customers that were served from Beaver, PA, to Brilliant, OH, back in the early days of the 20th Century. It provided transportation for commuters to get to work at the many mills, brick yards & potteries that dotted the Ohio River Valley all up & down that stretch of river. It was also affordable transportation for folks to go shopping and visiting at points along that route and to get home again.

Wayne Cole, a retired teacher and Director & Curator of the Little Beaver Historical Society, presented the history of the many traction & light companies that in 1907 formed the Ohio Valley Scenic Route. Sponsored by the Wellsville Historical Society the program took place at the Riverside Museum Sunday afternoon, July 12. Mr. Cole is the author of ten books including a series called "Ghost Rails". The "Ghost Rail" series trace and record all types of rail history from street cars to trains that traveled through this region. It includes a vast collection of pictures that in some cases are all that remain of that long gone era. The name ghost rails is from tracing the tracks that use to carry the street cars & trains over their routes. Many of those routes still have the tracks, long buried under pavement, for streets that now follow those same routes.

Street cars date back to 1890 in this region. In the beginning they consisted of many different companies. There was the Steubenville East Liverpool & Beaver Valley Traction, the Youngstown & Ohio River Railroad, the Newell Bridge & Railway and the Chester & Rock Springs to name just a few. Before there was a Y & O Road there was the Youngstown & Ohio RR where that road way is today. It mainly carried coal from here to the steel mills up north. The Newell Bridge was built by the WV potteries for street cars to cross the river to transport workers to & from the Homer Laughlin China Co. Although street cars are long gone that bridge is still owned and operated today by HLC.

In 1907 all the various street car companies formed one company called the Ohio Valley Scenic Route. The Yellow Car line is the one that served Wellsville. It started in Beaver, PA, and ran to Steubenville. It was called the Yellow Car Line for the color painted on the eight street cars that served the route. Other routes had different colors. Some say Richmond, VA, was the first to have a street car company but Mr. Cole believes Steubenville was the first in the nation. Street cars ran on electricity that was self supplied by the owner companies. Those companies also supplied the towns along their routes with electricity until 1918. It was at that time Ohio Edison took over the "light" part of those Traction & Light companies. Because of government regulations they took over the power stations that supplied the electricity.

Mr. Cole tells me his tenth book is completed and is currently going through the editing stage. When published it will be entitled Ghost Rails VI. You can go to for more information on his books. You can also contact Mr. Cole by writing or e-mailing His address is 243 Cordak Road, Darlington, PA 16115. I would venture to say Mr. Cole is the foremost expert on the history of rail travel through this region. Ghost Trails III gives the detailed account of the Yellow Car Line.

Thanks to the Wellsville Historical Society for sponsoring this opportunity to learn the history of this link in the transportation history between horse & buggy days and preceding the automotive days. If you lived in the valley back then it was shoe leather & rails that got a person from one point to another.

ole nib

Successful Chamber Auction

Saturday night, July 11, at the Alumni Center, the Wellsville Chamber-of-Commerce held an auction. The auction was a fund raiser to purchase supplies to renovated the 4th Street Square gazebo. All items that were put up for bid were donated by area businesses, organizations and individuals. Auctioneering services were donated by the ville's Sells Auction and the Lion's Club was on -hand manning the concession stand. Even the use of the building was donated by the WHS Alumni Committee for this community project.

With over 170 items all being sold and a nice crowd on hand it appeared to be a very successful auction. At the least it was an entertaining evening seeing some of the spirited bidding and the antics of the auctioneers enticing the bidders.

Taking on the community project to renovate the gazebo, members of the Wellsville Chamber-of-Commerce planned and organized this event. Member unions of the Western Reserve Building & Construction Trades Council are donating all the labor for this effort. They even donated items for the auction. Other donators included some businesses from East Liverpool & Calcutta among the many people, businesses and organizations from Wellsville. All around it was a total community effort of neighbor helping neighbor.

Shown here, striking her best Vanna White pose, is Chamber member Candy Bangor greeting customers. Getting ready to start the proceedings is Chamber President Randy Allmon with a couple of the auctioneers behind him.

As one ville resident I would like to say thanks to all that took part organizing, donating and buying that contributed toward the dressing up of the gazebo. It's another reason to say the ville is someplace special.

ole nib

Saturday, July 11, 2009


What started out as a simple repair job quickly became apparent the other morning it was also eliminating a dangerous safety hazard. On Thursday morning, July 9, employees from Wellsville's Stevenson Foundry & two of the ville's Street Dept. crew removed the big fountain located between 6th & 7th Sts. on Broadway.

The fountain was being taken to Steveco at the far eastern end of Broadway to be cleaned up and repaired. It hasn't worked for years. After lifting the fountain up it was discovered that the old base was just barely holding up that historic fountain. It was only by the grace of God that fountain was still standing. Seeing the corrosion and cracks on the base one could easily see that it was none too soon to get this job done.

After everything was removed you could easily see why that particular fountain hasn't been able to keep water. There were huge cracks in the cement under the base that allowed water to quickly soak into the ground. Those cracks weren't visible when everything was in place.

Stevenson employees Bob Jones, Jason Keyes & Denny Wright brought down "Big Bertha" and their trucks for the job of getting the fountain to the foundry. The fountain will be sand blasted, patched up and painted. They will also be building a new custom made stainless steel base with a ring to attach the bottom of the fountain to the base. There'll never be any worry about corrosion on the new base. The old base was made out of cast iron.

After watching that operation there's no doubt that Steveson will do a first class job. They even had custom made steel beams to fit around the fountain for lifting it out and securing it to the truck for transport. Village officials are assuring that fountain will be in operation for years to come. By Thursday afternoon three inches of new concrete was poured onto the fountain floor. Once that cures the new concrete will be sealed. It is expected to only take a week or two to have this historic piece of the ville back in place.

No one seems to know the history of this particular fountain or when was the last time it actually worked. I'm speculating it was one of the originals put in place in the early 1900s when they took out the railroad line. This fountain is a little more grandeur than the others. You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge for a better view.
ole nib

Friday, July 10, 2009

Chamber-of-Commerce Auction Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Saturday, July 11, at the Alumni Center, 3rd Street, in Wellsville is the Chamber-of-Commerce Auction starting at 6 P.M. Up for bid will be over 170 items that were all donated for this fund raiser. All proceeds go to making improvements in the village. The first of these will be for supplies to refurbish the gazebo at the 4th Street Square. With the Trade Unions donating the labor for this project, the Chamber is saving the village a huge repair bill in getting this Wellsville landmark back to pristine condition.

Shown here is a very blurry Candy Bangor holding up one of the many nice items that will be put up for bid. There is a brand new girls bike, Steeler stuff including an authenticated Jack Ham autographed football. There's a Steeler tent. There's Ohio State Buckeye stuff. There's a one week stay at a condo in Naples, FL. There's Fiesta ware. There's Lenox ware. There's a gob of gift certificates for many different stores. There are so many nice things I got too excited to hold the camera still! You can check out the list of all the donated items on the Chamber's web site at

The Wellsville Lions Club will be there serving food & refreshments. The WHS Alumni Committee donated the use of the hall. Sell's Auction donated the services of auctioneer Russ Koontz. There's even going to be celebrity presenters showing the items as they are put up for bid.

It looks like a fun evening for a very worthwhile cause. Got my "auction bucks". I'm ready. Doors open at 5:30. You'll even be able to "clearly" see Candy!

ole nib

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wellsville Historical Society to Present Wayne A. Cole

This coming Sunday, July 12, at 2 P.M. at Wellsville's Riverside Museum the Historical Society will present author Wayne A. Cole. Mr. Cole will show a Powerpoint presentation and talk on the history of street cars and buses. Mr. Cole is probably the foremost expert on the history of railroads, street cars and buses in our region.

Mr. Cole is a retired English teacher from Blackhawk High School and lives in a log cabin house he designed and had built in South Beaver, PA. He is the Director & Curator of the Little Beaver Historical Society. He is also the author of several books including a series of books called Ghost Trails. That series details the research and his findings in the history of long gone railroads and street car companies and the routes they followed in our area. I recently acquired his book Ghost Trails III and it is loaded with pictures along with facts of the long gone era when travel by rail was the main source of transportation over land.

Sunday's presentation will include a history and photos of the "yellow car" line that street cars traveled up and down the valley that later turned into Route 7. Rail travel played a big roll in Wellsville's history transporting passengers and freight. It was a time long before there were automobiles and trucks and the highway systems we know today. Starting in the mid-1800s it eventually replaced horse drawn drays and stage coaches that moved passengers and goods that got here or departed on the river.

You won't want to miss this program. As always it is open to the public and free of admission. The museum will also be open for touring Sunday from 1 - 4:30 P.M. You might like to check out the Railroad Room chuck full of historical memorabilia from Wellsville's past. Signed books that Mr. Cole wrote will be available for sale.

ole nib

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ohio River Clean Fuels Plant

It's been awhile since we heard any news about Baard's plans for the ORCF plant. Back in December of this past year we were told that it was hoped that they would begin clearing the hill top land over looking Wellsville in May or June. Here it is the first full week in July and the last thing I recall in the newspapers that even remotely refers to Baard was an AP photo of Sierra Club members protesting in Cleveland in early June. We haven't seen any movement on the hill top.

Like many in Wellsville and this tri-state region a lot of hopes are riding on seeing this plant getting built and in operation. After mulling over the paucity of news for awhile I began asking around if anyone has heard anything. I talked to the Mayor. Nothing. I talked to members of the Chamber-of-Commerce and they said no. Have I heard anything? Everyone I asked gave me that deer in the head lights look.

This morning I decided instead of beating around the bush I would try the direct approach and called Baard Energy. Never thinking I would get through to anyone other than someone in Public Relations I talked to Steve Dopuch, V.P. of Business Development for Baard. Mr. Dopuch has been to Wellsville many times and was very accommodating in answering my questions.

Mr. Dopuch assured me plans are proceeding with the ORCF plant but like everything across the length and breadth of this country the present day economy has slowed things down. Baard is still coming but it's just not as fast as previously hoped for.

Currently they are working with the trade unions for the labor agreements and with financial institutions ironing out the money details. They are also doing pipeline studies. I failed to ask but I imagine those studies are related to transferring the liquefied carbon dioxide to be sequestered in the old Canton oil fields.

Mr. Dopuch said it is still hoped to begin clearing land sometime before the "snow flies". He also said to tell Wellsville hello.

That's the latest. Thanks Steve for taking time out of your busy schedule.

ole nib

Council Meeting - Tuesday - 7/7/09

One of the lengthier meetings I've attended, the meeting was called to order by Mayor Joe Surace at 5:59 P.M. All Council members were present except Rosie Goss. Also present was Village Solicitor Andy Beech, Village Administrator Jim Saracco, WFD Chief Bill Smith, Fiscal Officer Dale Davis, Zoning Administrator Rick Williams and Animal Control Officer Leslie Dean.

Minutes of the June 16 Regular Meeting and the June 19 Special Meeting were approved as read.

Under the Public Speaking portion Mary Bucher of Center Street asked council why her questions about her grandson being bitten by a dog have not been answered. Noting that when this incident happened in May she made four calls in two days. Councilman Tony Cataldo advised none of those calls were logged. The Mayor said he will check with both the WPD & WFD Chiefs to see why they were not logged.

Covenant Presbyterian Church member Paul Waggle addressed Council on the continual vandalism taking place at the 18th Street playground and an unsafe swing set that is down there. Waggle noted the latest incident is a $100 picnic table he personally donated and spent another $40 to have repaired that has been destroyed. Vandals have broken 2X4s that the table was made of. Noting that the WPD is doing extra patrolling of the area the Mayor said it's like the vandals have look outs watching for cruisers. Councilman Joe Soldano said one of the problems is that they didn't receive a grant this year for playground supervisors. Waggle suggested placing gates at the playground entrances and will get prices for them. He is offering a $200 reward for the arrest & conviction of the first vandal caught.

The unsafe swing set mentioned is not anchored and the Mayor said, as required by state law, they have get a certified installer to perform that work. They are presently trying to locate one but in the meantime the swing set will be removed. If anyone knows of someone licensed to install playground equipment the Mayor asked that you give him or the Village Administrator a call.

For Administration Reports Jim Saracco advised the smoking of sewers has been completed and he now has a list of houses that have down spouts going into the sewer lines. Those residents will be notified and given a yet to be determined time period to comply with this EPA mandate. Saracco said all they need to do is to remove the down spouts from the sewers. Failure to comply will result in citations & fines.

Saracco also advised that they have found someone who hopefully can get the village street sweeper repaired. In the meantime village workers will be manually cleaning up the streets with brooms and shovels. While the workers are available they have two crews starting at each end of town working toward each other to accomplish the job.

Saracco also reported that the Sewage Department took in a total of $100,233.66 for the month of June. Of that amount $51,404.17 was paid against delinquent bills.

WFD Chief Smith said the Fire Dept. was happy the smoke testing has been completed noting that calls for suspicious smoke were up while this was going on.

Smith also advised that there are five dilapidated structures that looks like the county will approve to have torn down. Paper work on these five should be done in mid-July. There are another six structures on the possible list currently going through the administrative process.

During the flood wall exercise recently Smith advised they found several of the old timbers used for the gates in bad condition that need replaced. It was noted earlier they have corrosion of the metal plates in the ground that hold the steel beams for the frames. Solutions for both of these problems are being checked. Smith noted if any of those gates fail to hold up 90% of the village would be would be under water with any high flood waters.

Zoning Administrator Rick Williams had nothing to report advising that business is extremely slow right now with construction in town.

Animal Control Officer Leslie Dean submitted her monthly report to Council noting that calls are once again up for the last reporting period. Total calls were 49. She asked for Council to create a village ordinance allowing her to cite owners of unlicensed dogs and such. Presently she has to use ORC laws and those citations are referred to the county courts. With a village ordinance she can have citations handled through the village Magistrate Court with any resulting revenue for fines going to the village. Councilman Tony Cataldo made a motion that was passed to order in legislation for this. This recommendation was approved at a Ordinance Committee hearing not long ago.

Dean also asked for an ordinance for an Owner Redemption Fee like the county charges. That charge is $15 plus an additional $5 for any extra days it takes for an owner to pick up their animal. Money for this fee will help defray the costs of maintaining the Village Dog Pound Building. Councilman Joe Soldano made a motion that passed to order in legislation for this.

Dean advised Council that the pound facility will be painted inside and out with the help of the Alley Cat Aid Brigade volunteers once the supplies are obtained and a mutual date is set. Unfortunately the art work done by WHS students will be covered. Now is the time to get photos of the art. Hopefully, Dean said, the art students will return to create new paintings.

For the Mayor's Report Surace advised he has seven new names submitted to replace the resigned members of the Tree Board. Tree Board members serve for different term limits. The Mayor & the Fiscal Officer will get together to assign the term limits and will submit his recommendations for Council's approval at the next regular meeting. The new names submitted are Maurice Wyse, Nancy Gill, Jodi Johnson, Gwen Murphy, Joyce Howell, Greg Thrasher and Bob Marcin.

Under Committee Reports Joe Soldano, for Streets, said the deteriorating condition of the flood wall gate components were of major concern and discussed some of the various options being considered with Chief Smith.

Sewage Committee Chairman Randy Allmon made a motion that four invoices for sewer cleaning and the smoking be paid to LSW. Those four invoices totaled $28,140 and ranged from one for $3360 to one for $9,120 for the highest. The motion passed 4 - 1 with Don Brown casting the lone negative vote. Don Brown was quoted in the morning papers saying that since the total was over $25,000 he believed the job should have been put up for bid.

Property Committee Chairman John McMahon commended Greg Thrasher for the outstanding job he does maintaining the Phyllis Thrasher Memorial Park. That park was renamed for the late Mrs. Thrasher who was an extremely active village resident for just about anything that improved our town. Greg has taken it upon himself to do all the maintenance up there to keep it up. McMahon said his recent out-of-town guests commented on how nice it looks.

For Legislation two new ordinances pertaining to the method of apportionment of Local Government Funds were approved under suspension of rules. Fiscal Officer Dale Davis said this is done annually and requires new ordinances each time.

An ordinance tabled at the last regular meeting to amend the amusement license fees was taken off the table and approved. It was tabled to include the amount of the amended fees and the effective date.

Under New Business Councilman Joe Soldano publicly thanked the Elks Riverside Reunion folks for asking him to be their Master-of-Ceremony at this year's event. Soldano said he thoroughly enjoyed the festivities.

Councilman Tony Cataldo made a motion that passed to only hold one regular meeting for the months of August & September. Those meetings will be held on the first Tuesday for those two months.

Being no other business the meeting was adjourned at 6:53. Next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 P.M. July 21. Covering for vacationing Jo Ann Bobby Gilbert was newspaper reporter Jen Matsick.

ole nib

Buckeye Water District Special Meeting - Tuesday - 7/7/09

Yesterday morning at the Water Treatment Plant the Board of Trustees of the Buckeye Water District held a special meeting to open bids for their primary depository. All board members were present except for Cal Carney & David Lloyd. The bids were from financial institutions for the board to determine who will handle the BWD future banking. Huntington is their current depository.

Bids were submitted by Central Federal, 1st National Community and Huntington. Representatives from 1st National & Huntington were present for the bid opening. Following the acceptance and opening of the bids was a lengthy discussion of the various pros & cons of the three submitted bids. It was decided to make up a chart listing each of the categories side by side for consideration in determining who will be awarded the contract.

Another Special Meeting for the Financial Committee & Selection Committee is scheduled for Tuesday, July 14, at 10 A.M. at the Water Treatment Plant. The next regular meeting is Thursday, July 16, at 9 A.M. in Council Chambers at Wellsville Village Hall.

ole nib

Riverside Reunion Bonus

While checking out the classic car show last Saturday at the Elks Riverside Reunion I noticed the limo shown here parked toward the end of the line of classic cars. Thinking it a bit different for car cruises & being nibby I strolled on down to see why this late model automobile was part of the show.

Here it wasn't actually part of the show but it was a wedding party getting some pictures with the scenic Ohio River as part of the background. They just happened to be there at the same time.

The newly wedded couple had just got married at the Covenant Presbyterian Church, stopped by for pictures and were en route to the their reception. Being married on the 4th of July should be an easily remembered anniversary.

The newly married couple are Marci & Stephen Parpart. The bride is a Wellsville native and the daughter of ville residents John & Sharon Lloyd. The groom is the son of Paul & Linda Parpart of Michigan. The Parparts are both teachers in the Washington, D.C. area and live in Maryland.

Congratulations to the Parparts.

ole nib

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Elks Riverside Reunion - Day 3 - 7/4/09

As the nation celebrated the 233rd birthday of American Independence there was a good crowd of folks enjoying the last day of the 4th Annual Elks Riverside Reunion right here in Wellsville. The WHS Class of '84 had a 25th Reunion and for some reason the Class of '80 seem to have a mini reunion every time the Elks hold this bash. From my vantage point it appeared everyone was enjoying themselves.

From the Legends ceremony, the entertainment to just providing a place for the folks to get together it was well organized and seemed to go smoothly. The Committee that put in the long hours with all their efforts should be proud of their accomplishments. Although sponsored by Elks Lodge 1040 it is a community event that many of us look forward to each year. We're not alone. More and more each year people from all over the country come back to the ville to enjoy the festivities.

That committee is now wrapping things up with pictures and videos that will be on-line on their web site. Susie, of Haugh Designs, has already got five slide shows ready for viewing. We've shown a lot of pictures and Susie has even more. Still to come is Hootch2's actual videos that were shown on the big screen. Just go to, skip the intro and click on "photo album" to see the pictures.

Next year is the big one - the 5 Year All-Class Reunion. Plans are uncertain what the Elks are doing but some of the committee members tell me they will be working with the Alumni Committee for the 2010 reunion. Whatever comes about I'm sure it will be a good fit. We'll try to keep you posted of all plans once they get it set up.

Thanks to the Elks and the Riverside Reunion Committee.

ole nib