William Casteel

Newcomerstown Bureau

NEWCOMERSTOWN -- Following a report of a neighbor dispute over a vacated alley near Cross Street, Newcomerstown Village Council has discussed concerns regarding the use and maintenance of the alley, as well as 15-20 additional allies in the village.

Council members were informed by Street Department Superintendent J.R. Simmons that many of these alley ways have been vacated for many years and have been maintained by the residents living nearby. Simmons said many times residents have basically treated the allies as part of their property and that the allies do not appear to be an actual access any longer.

Simmons said the allies need to be re-opened and properly maintained since they are village property. He also said there have been times that the village has needed to access a specific area from the alley for street repairs or other village business, but are in question of whether the area is actually an alley owned by the village or whether it is private property. Council was agreeable that the maintenance of these alley ways were the village's responsibility and will discuss plans to re-open the allies, applying gravel or asphalt then maintaining the allies on a consistent basis.

Other business from the May 4 regular council meeting included:

* Council thanked local resident Bill Lawrence for his plans to upgrade an area on his property near the walking/bicycle trail off of N. College Street/State Route 21 north. The area will be used for parking for individuals that are walking or bicycling. Council member, Janet Bush said she felt the improvement was a benefit to the village, even though the area is property of Lawrence, as residents will have safer access to the trail. Currently, anyone visiting the trail must park along the road.

* Simmons said the village's Clean-up Week went well. "We filled five and half hoppers, the least we have ever filled in all the years we have done the clean-up," Simmons said.

* Jeff Davis, Recreation/Park Board member, said the Cy Young Park pool will open on Memorial Day weekend (May 24-25). The pool will later be open full time when school is on summer break. The pool is currently being repainted, and the pool pump is being repaired.

* April's Country Kitch'n was approved to have a fund-raiser toll road. They were approved for a two hour limit. The toll road is scheduled to take place May 25 on the corner of Beaver and State Street, and Canal and College Street. Proceeds will go to Relay For Life.

Council approved the following:

* To offer an internal posting for a Street Tech II position.

* To accept, reject or modify recommendations made by TIRC (Tax Incentive Review Council).

* Enter into a contract (July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010) for inmates to be housed in the Tuscarawas County Jail at a cost of $50 per day.

* Hiring of pool manager, lifeguards and seasonal labor for the pool were acknowledged by council.

* Tom Woosman was present for a citizen's comment. He was seeking direction on a matter concerning the recent lawsuit by Trimat Inc. concerning an issue with access to the landfill project from the former Simonds property, which Woosman and a group of investors owns. Woosman was directed to have his attorney contact the Village Solicitor to discuss the issues according to the appropriate village protocol.

Council will meet again May 18 at 7 p.m.