At the London City Council meeting Thursday, Mayor Pat Closser addressed appropriation of legislation 162-17. The legislation was to appropriate $150,000 from the general fund to the Stormwater Utility line of the budget. This would go toward fixing particular areas of the city where water damage has caused tiles and underground structures to collapse, such as areas on Main and High streets.

Closser mentioned construction on High Street, an area that needs immediate attention, will start Monday, Sept. 25 and will cause a detour in town as the city will be shutting down East High Street from Walnut Street to the Y (where Elm and High split) for five days.

“This is a safety concern,” Closser said. “And we need to make sure our citizens are safe as well as fix these aging problem areas.”

Stormwater issues were a large topic for the evening in general, continuing from last month’s meeting and before. Jerry Bales and Teresa Hennis, both residents of London, returned to voice their concern about progress on the fixing of the sewer drainage system.

“I’d like everybody here to take one minute and think, change places with me for the last three months,” Bales said. “I feel like I have been begging for help and I feel like it’s starting to fall on deaf ears.” Council reassured him that the city was working on the issues but that progress can be slow.

“It’s not falling on deaf ears,” said Joe Mosier, Safety Service Director for the City of London. “We’re working on it.” Mayor Closser also added that the construction on High Street would be a “great step” in starting the process of repairing these sewer issues across the city.

He went on to flip the subject of finances from spending to receiving. He informed council members that the city has been awarded $1,139,367 from the Ohio Public Works Commission for the Park Avenue project. The money will go toward replacing the Park Avenue Bridge, repaving roads and adding sidewalks, paths and gutters. It will also go hand-in-hand with the changes Madison Health is making to the hospital campus.

“(The Public Works Commission) basically allots money to different places and London hasn’t gone for it,” Closser said. “It’s free money that goes toward infrastructure. It’ll be great to get money after all these years and start putting it toward London’s infrastructure.” The Park Avenue project will likely start in the summer of 2018.

Council also approved Closser’s recommendation for two appointments to the London City Boards and Commissions. Joann Fisher was appointed to the Historic Review Board and Marcus Vest was appointed to the Board of Public Utilities.

“I know the Board of Public Utilities is a long-time coming,” Closser said. “That is probably the most intense committee or board that we have. And we wanted to make sure we had somebody who was competent and understood what’s going on.”

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By Michael Williamson

Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.