MOUNT VERNON — The city of Mount Vernon is moving upstream in its quest to make life better for its residents.
Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis said the city has looked into reports from State Scenic River Coordinator Bob Gable about junk items being placed in the river at the Dike Road kiosk. The kiosk area had been created near Riverside Park as a way to make the river more accessible for people and canoes, but a TV, concrete slabs and a deer carcass, among other things, were discovered in the riverbed.
City Recreation Director Geoff Oliver came up with a plan to put a concrete structure with steps and a railing down the slight incline toward the riverbed. Mavis said the structure would keep people from driving their vehicles down by the riverbed and depositing trash and other solid waste nuisances, but still allow easy access for pedestrians and those with canoes.
First, though, he said, the area needs cleaned up. Mavis said the area has been labeled as the trashiest roadway in the city, as all kinds of people dump their trash in the roadway behind the dike.
“We’re going to try and keep it cleaner with the park and ballfields close by. We’d like people not to use that area as a dumping ground,” Mavis said.
In other news, Mavis said the city will look to begin cleaning the streets and some sidewalks of the pea gravel that has accumulated during the winter. The city mixes the pea gravel with salt while trying to remove snow and ice during the winter, and it needs swept up before it gets in the storm drainage system.
Mavis also said he met with Tim Wells of American Electric Power about the projected rate increases AEP is allowed by the state. Wells said the largest part of the increase will be to pay for fuel costs by the company. He said the average monthly bill will increase about $6.50 a month in 2009, followed by another increase of approximately $6.19 in 2010 and $7.57 in 2011. The increase is retroactive to January and will be reflected in the April bill.
In other news:
•The county commissioners voted to approve the annexation of the old American National Can property on the northwest side of the city. City Council should begin considering legislation for the annexation of that property at an April meeting. The annexation will allow the city to be the lead agency and apply for funds to clean up the property.
•Mavis said that he and Phil Samuell will meet today with the lawyer of the owner of the old PPG property. They are expected to share with the owner the city’s long-range plans for the Heart of Ohio Trail and how it will affect the property.
•Mavis attended the Monroe Township Trustees meeting Monday, discussing with them the city’s plans for a crossover road along Upper Gilchrist/New Gambier/Eastern Star, as well as a future fire station on the east side of the city.
“It was a good meeting; no decisions were made. But for our planning purposes, it gave us a better handle on what to expect with the road and fire station,” Mavis said.