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Williamstown City Council talks transfer of former elementary school

Councilmember Pat Peters discusses the sponsor agreement for the 2020 sidewalk project at the Williamstown City Council meeting Tuesday evening. (Photo by James Dobbs)

WILLIAMSTOWN — Williamstown City Council passed the second reading Tuesday of an ordinance that allows Mayor Paul Jordan to sign and execute the transaction of the former Williamstown Elementary School at 418 Williams Avenue in Williamstown from the Wood County Schools’ Board of Education to the city of Williamstown.

The ordinance gives Jordan the authority to execute the transaction between the city and the school board. Once Jordan has completed the transaction, the city has 12 months to demolish the school. Council is working on deciding what to do after the demolition, but has made no decisions at this time.

Council member Pat Peters discussed a $100,000 grant from the state for sidewalks. The grant is an 80-20 grant, where to receive the state’s funds, the city of Williamstown must provide 20 percent or $20,000 to get the rest of the funds for the project.

The 2020 sponsor agreement for the sidewalk project will be put toward sidewalks around the new Williamstown Elementary School. Jordan said without the sidewalks students are taking shortcuts and cutting through residential yards. The council accepted the sponsor agreement unanimously.

Council briefly discussed the upcoming 2022 May elections. Jordan, Peters, and Council President Marty Seufer are all up for re-election. They said they will all be running for their respective positions in the election.

“It’s been a whirlwind with COVID, and me taking over as Mayor and with everything we’ve been through,” said Jordan.

He said he has enjoyed his time as mayor, working with the council, and plans to stick around to see the end of the school’s demolition project.

Jason Nestor came before council to petition for the closing of Oak Street. He said this “paper street” runs off of Highland Avenue. Nestor said the plan is to acquire the deeds of the street to eventually consolidate it into a lot. Council approved the first reading of the closure, and will have another reading on it at a future council meeting.

In other business, council accepted a bid by Stuart Stickel to audit the city for $7,000 for the fiscal year 2021 and $7,500 for the fiscal year of 2022.

Council also approved the appointment of Ron Leisure to the tree committee.

James Dobbs can be reached at jdobbs@newsandsentinel.com

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