ST. CLAIRSVILLE — There will be some activity beneath St. Clairsville in the coming months, but first the city will host a Thanksgiving event to benefit a local man battling cancer.
On Monday , St. Clairsville City Council heard from Aaron Huddleston, project manager with the Zayo Group, which is installing underground fiber along U.S. 40 from Columbus to Pittsburgh.
“We are building a large fiber optic network here. This backbone will be used for a number of different things, but basically to add some fiber density to the area and increase Zayo’s footprint here in North America,” Huddleston said.
Council agreed to permit Zayo to install a 3,500-foot section along Wine and Birch Alleys.
Huddleston said work likely will begin a few weeks after the holidays.
“The project here in the city itself, it’s rather small, so we’re expecting to have the work started and completed within the month and to have a low impact on the residents and anything here in the city,” he said, adding the construction will take place 100 percent underground using directional boring in existing AT&T conduits.
“It brings in more diversity, so more competition for internet service providers,” he said. “There’s always the possibility that this backbone could be used to feed the residents and also businesses later.”
Planning and Zoning Administrator Tom Murphy said the company also agreed to install an additional conduit for the city’s use, should the electric department need to run another underground line in the future.
In other business, Safety and Service Director Jeremy Greenwood reported a gas leak was found and repaired last week across from the Cumberland Trail Fire District station on South Marietta Street.
Work has also begun on a culvert on South Marietta Street as part of the city’s waterline distribution upgrade. Greenwood said the culvert had to be installed before the street could be paved in the future. The culvert will be completed Wednesday, and paving could begin before the end of the year, weather permitting.
Councilwoman Kriski Lipscomb said more than 200 people have so far signed up for the Thanksgiving morning 5K run to benefit O.J. Diomedi, who was diagnosed with leukemia and has been undergoing chemotherapy and other treatments at Ohio State University’s The James Comprehensive Cancer Center in Columbus.
The 5K to help the husband and father of two young children will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday at the amphitheater and pass St. Clairsville High School, turn down Sugar Street and St. Clair Street, then back. People can still register. More information can be found at the rec department’s website, stcrecdept.recdesk.com, or by calling 740-695-2037.
In other matters, Police Chief Matt Arbenz said word has gone out that parking limits along Main Street will be enforced and business owners have been asked to monitor the spaces at their storefronts, but so far no additional citations have been issued.
He said the active shooter drill last week in the St. Clairsville-Richland City School District went well and thanked other local law enforcement agencies for their help.
“The school staff and the student body all involved are getting very adept at responding quickly and effectively,” Arbenz said.
He said the scenariowas that a suspected shooter was barricaded in a classroom in a situation similar to a May incident in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School were killed by a gunman.
“The Robb incident weighed heavily on our mind from the first day it happened. It has been a topic of discussion and training for not only our Special Operations Branch members, but for all of our local road and school officers,” he said earlier. “We did purposefully consider that incident when planning (Wednesday’s) scenario.”
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