MOUNT VERNON — It seems an odd thing to do, but if you want to celebrate Christmas by climbing to the observation deck of Rastin Tower at Ariel-Foundation Park, you can do so.

City Parks employee Russ Adams said they unlocked the gate Thursday and he expects the tower to remain open through Tuesday, due to the face the forecast is for moderate weather.

Mayor Richard Mavis said the Street Department reported using about 300 tons of salt during last weekend’s winter weather. The department reported starting the winter with a full salt barn of about 1,000 tons on hand.

Regular shipments are arranged as the supply falls so the city will not fall short.

City Engineer Brian Ball said early talks with Mount Vernon Schools and Mount Vernon Nazarene College about the closing of Mount Vernon Avenue Bridge in 2018 have been useful, although definite plans about road closings are not yet finalized.

The bridge replacement is expected to take place in 2018 or maybe into 2019. City Engineer Brian Ball said they hope to be able to keep one traffic lane open at all times through the construction.

After the preliminary engineering is completed on the project, the Ohio Department of Transportation will hold public meetings on the project, probably in early May.

The poles are in place for the traffic signal at Commerce Drive and Ohio 13, but the city still has to wait for the control cabinet. Ball said it will probably be late winter before it arrives and the signals can be placed in operation.

Ball said some of the FFA students who worked on the tree inventory this summer are back for the winter break and updating the tree inventory with what trees have been removed or fallen. He said there was some money left from the grant which paid for the project this summer to have the additional work done.

Ball said his department is busy doing the engineering for the rebuilding of Pleasant Street from Mulberry to Gay. The city has received a $360,000 Community Development Block grant, plus $35,000 for upgrading a section of water line. The city will pay $80,000.

Curbs and sidewalks will be replaced, the brick surface rebuilt, new trees planted and the water line replaced with a new 12-inch line.

Utilities Director Matthias Orndorf said two breaks occurred in 6-inch water lines last weekend, one on East High Street and one on Mansfield Avenue. He said both breaks were fixed under pressure so no boil advisory was necessary. The city did lose about one million gallons of water.

With the parks closed for the winter, Adams said they have started cleaning and repairing equipment to have it ready for spring. He said a new metal roof will be installed on the shelter house at Memorial Park by spring and the remodeling of the restroom and gazebo at Riverside Park should also be complete by spring.

Recycling facility
Mavis noted that Rumpke has sent out notices that it will begin shutting down its recycling facility on Columbus Road.

The last day for the buy-back portion of the facility will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30.

The drop-off portion of the facility will remain open weekdays through Jan. 13. Simply place all recyclables inside the available containers.

All trash haulers in Mount Vernon are required to offer curbside recycling service. Contact your hauler.

Drop-off locations are available around the county, visit for more information.


Chuck Martin: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews



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