SALEM Council OKs work on Cunningham Road

A council committee recommended buying two new firetrucks.
SALEM -- Work is expected to begin later this year on a project to improve a section of Cunningham Road on the east side.
Council authorized service director Joe Julian on Tuesday to seek bids for the project, estimated at $250,000 to $300,000.
Plans call for widening from about 16 feet to 29 feet a nearly 1,300-foot section of Cunningham Road, south from Butcher Road to the city limits, Julian explained.
Included in the project is installation of curbs and gutters.
The road is too narrow and is in terrible shape, Julian said.
Work is expected to start in June and be finished in early fall.
Money for it will be borrowed and paid back through the city's capital improvements fund.
Council's traffic and safety committee is recommending the city borrow $380,000 to buy two new firetrucks, said Councilman Greg Oesch, R-3rd, committee chairman.
About $340,000 would be spent to buy a new pumper to replace an aging one. About $40,000 would be spent to buy a four-wheel-drive truck equipped to fight grass fires.
The grass-fire truck is needed because annexations in recent years have brought into the city a lot of vacant land with tall grass and woods, Oesch explained.
Junk cleanup
Councilman Steve Andres, D-2nd, suggested trying to find money for a citywide cleanup of junk accumulating at residences, including scrap tires.
"There's hundreds of tires piled up around this town," Andres said.
Council President Dave Ventresco was absent from Tuesday's meeting, which is the first time council has met since Ventresco was charged in two crimes.
Ventresco sent council a letter asking to be excused, citing an unspecified medical problem.
Ventresco was to appear Monday in Columbiana County Municipal Court in Salem to answer charges of domestic violence and passing a bad check, but that was postponed.
A court spokeswoman said the charges will likely be transferred to the municipal court in East Palestine.