Economic Development Moves Forward in East Liverpool

EAST LIVERPOOL – Legislation to move economic development projects ahead was passed at a recent City Council meeting.

A resolution was approved to add more than $6 million to the $7.5 million in grant funding the city is seeking for a major improvement project for state Route 39 in the East End. 

City Council previously had agreed to apply for a $7.5 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity grant to serve as the city’s matching share of a $29 million Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant it has been awarded. 

Officials learned, however, that the Multimodal Project grant does not cover the cost of installation of new water and sewer lines as part of the Route 39 project, which will otherwise provide significant improvements for the entire length of the highway.

The resolution amended the amount being sought to $13.54 million, which Planning Director Bill Cowan said will allow for the cost of engineering, planning and construction of the water line replacement. 

Councilman Fred Rayl commended Cowan for “always looking for funding sources” for the city, and Mayor Bobby Smith also praised Cowan, saying, “He is so invaluable to us. That should not go unrecognized.”

Also approved during the meeting was legislation to change the zoning for eight pieces of property in the East End between Locust and Mulberry streets from R-3, high-density residential, to B-4, highway business. 

This zoning issue has gone through several hearings and committee scrutiny and was recommended for City Council’s decision.

This will allow developers John-Pierre and Josee Daniel to move forward with plans to construct a new gasoline/diesel service station on the site.

They were not present at the meeting but have said in the past that plans call for vehicle filling areas covered with canopies for both gasoline and diesel fuel, as well as a convenience store selling food but not a restaurant. 

They have declined to identify the company they plan to bring to the location.

Previously, the Daniels said if the zoning request was approved, they expect to begin construction this spring, with completion anticipated within 18 months. 

The Daniels own a Shell gas station on St. Clair Avenue, as well as JP’s Pizzeria, a restaurant on state Route 170 in Calcutta.

Pictured at top: The eastbound entrance to the East End neighborhood of East Liverpool.

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