South Point sets goals for 2000

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 24, 2000

The first year of the new millennium will be one of improvements in South Point.

Monday, January 24, 2000

The first year of the new millennium will be one of improvements in South Point.

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The first, most noticeable change will come this spring, when construction of the long-awaited Solida Road sewer extension project is scheduled to begin.

"Hopefully, we’ll get started on that project’s construction phase this spring," South Point Mayor Bill Gaskin said. "It shouldn’t take too long to complete –  we’re thinking it will be completed this year if we can get started on it when we plan to."

For now, the project is on hold until complete authorization from the state capital is delivered, he said.

"A couple of weeks ago we turned in the final paperwork," Gaskin said. "Now, we’re just waiting to get approval from Columbus."

Other changes are in store for the village as well. When the final count of Census 2000 is in, the Village of South Point will be waiting eagerly for the results.

"At this point, we’re just waiting, and it’s going to be close," Gaskin said. "I don’t know if we’re going to be a city or not –  sometimes I think we will, and other times, I look around and think it won’t happen. But we’re hoping for the best."

If the village does reach the required 75,000 mark when the count is final, South Point will have to implement several changes in services and governmental organization.

"I’m not sure at this point what all we’ll have to do if we become a city this year," he said. "We’ll have to have a charter so we can have our form of government, and there will be the issue of police protection changes and making a municipal court rather than the mayor’s court that we have now."

With recent discussion of changes to local court systems, the village administration has decided to wait on any potential preplanning in that area.

"That’s all up in the air now with the changes proposed to the courts," he said. "We’re not going to do much about that until we know for certain if we are a city or not."

Once the count is final, however, if South Point is named a city the administration will seek outside advice on making the change to a charter government through other cities with similar systems, like Ironton, Gaskin added.

In the meantime, the village government leaders will focus their attention on spring projects, like the paving project that was approved last year through Issue 2 grant funding and the impending Marathon Ashland Pipeline project.

"They’ll be starting on that soon," Gaskin said of the MAP construction plans. "And of course, with that, they have delivered the annexation request here and sent them to the (Lawrence County Board of) Commissioners."

Although Perry Township Board of Trustees president Doug Malone said in a recent interview that the township will strongly oppose such an annexation, the process is underway.

"We’ve signed all the papers and we’re ready for them to start on the project," Gaskin said. "But, this will be another long process. There will be public meetings that are required and other steps the commissioners must take so that they hear all sides. It something positive that we would like to have happen, but it will take awhile before we know."

Village council members and administration representatives agreed to allow the pipeline to pass through the village, and in return, they will receive matching funds for an Ohio Department of Natural Resources grant for village park as well as the possible annexation of the remaining 400 acres of the former South Point Ethanol Plant property from Perry Township into the village.

Upon completion, the MAP pipeline will carry petroleum products from the Catlettsburg, Ky., refinery to Columbus.