Continued improvements to the water system and development of a sports complex are on the horizon.
By NANCY TULLIS
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
LEETONIA -- It may seem like chaos now, but Village Administrator Gary Phillips said numerous projects in progress here will all fit together in the near future.
"It's all part of a big puzzle to improve Leetonia," he said.
Two 12-inch waterlines on Washington and Main streets and along state Route 344 to the industrial park have been completed and are ready for use, Phillips said.
One will supply water to the industrial park under high pressure required for adequate fire protection. The other will benefit residents by improving water pressure and reducing discoloration, Phillips said. The 12-inch supply line replaces a decaying 6-inch line, he said.
Miller-Yount Paving Inc. of Cortland completed both projects at a cost of nearly $665,000.
Phillips said while the streets were torn up for the waterline installation, crews also installed new storm drains and catch basins. Next on the list is completing the 12-inch supply line from Main Street to the water plant on St. Peter Street, he said.
On north side: Meanwhile, progress continues on the village's north side, where a new sidewalk is being installed from Pine Street north on Washington Street to Walnut Street in front of Orchard Hill Elementary and the district's new K-12th grade facility under construction.
Leetonia received a $110,000 Ohio Department of Transportation grant for the project and Leetonia and neighboring Washingtonville are paying the balance. The sidewalk will link the two communities.
Leetonia is contributing $34,040, and Washingtonville $11,900, Phillips said.
A second phase will be completed sometime in 2002. The village has a $52,000 ODOT grant to help pay for a nearly $75,000 project to extend the sidewalk along Washington Street from Pine Street south to Main Street.
Phillips said the village will pay the balance of the second phase.
Sports complex: On the horizon are continued improvements to the water system, and development of a sports complex on about 14 acres the village owns on the southwest side.
Phillips said the sports complex will likely include soccer and baseball fields. Village officials are working with Leetonia school administrators and the board of education in planning the sports complex, he said.
Some athletic fields are a part of the K-12 construction plan, Phillips said. He added that village officials want to work closely with the school district in the planning so facilities are not duplicated.
Phillips said the new waterlines have been pressure-tested and the fire hydrants at the industrial park have been flushed. Water is now available for fire protection at the industrial park, he said.
General Extrusions Inc. of Boardman has a $15 million, 100,000-square-foot expansion plant under construction at the park. GEI officials hope to have the plant operational by the end of the year, creating about 65 jobs within three years.