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LEETONIA Cherry Valley Coke Ovens Park seeks $5,500 for storm damage



Published: Sat, August 9, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



Some areas of the park's hiking trails washed away.

By NANCY TULLIS

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

LEETONIA -- Village officials are seeking about $5,500 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to repair storm damage at the Cherry Valley Coke Ovens Park.

Village Administrator Gary Phillips said the extensive rain this spring and summer have washed out some hiking trail areas.

"We have been very fortunate in Leetonia," Phillips said. "There are communities with a lot of flooding, towns under several feet of water, towns with contaminated wells. We haven't had much damage."

The Cherry Valley Coke Ovens Park on the southwest side of town is a heavily wooded area refurbished with hiking trails in and around the coke ovens and other sites of the former Cherry Valley Iron & amp; Coal Co. and the Leetonia Iron & amp; Coal Co. in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Public library sources state the Cherry Valley Iron & amp; Coal Co. took over the bankrupt Leetonia Iron & amp; Coal Co. in 1873.

By 1900, Cherry Valley was producing 70,000 tons of pig iron annually, but the Great Depression and the evolving steel industry put the coking operation out of business.

The site was donated to the village for a park in 1982, and, in 1986, village council appointed a park and recreation commission to transform the flooded area into a park.

Students in Dr. John White's archaeology classes at Youngstown State University and others have excavated the industrial site and unearthed foundations of some of the buildings.

Phillips said although flooding and storm damage has been minimal, the village has had problems in recent weeks with waterline breaks. One break last week in the midst of the routine hydrant flushing program will extend that program through next week.

, he said.

Hydrant flushing was to be finished by Friday, he said. Instead, flushing hydrants on the south side of the village will begin today or Friday and won't be completed until next Friday.

South side residents are advised to prepare for water volume and water pressure changes during the period. Some discoloration of water also might occur until the system stabilizes after hydrant flushing is completed, he said.

tullis@vindy.com




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