Newton Falls focuses on economic development

NEWTON FALLS — Village officials say they are doing whatever they possibly can to spur economic development, including promoting available properties.

After hearing from residents at this week’s village council meeting, Mayor Lyle Waddell said he understands there are empty storefronts, the same as in many communities.

“We would like to see more development happen. We have worked with the local store owners and want to see more businesses coming here who may want to build,” he said.

Resident Charles Verbanic questioned officials of what is being done to promote available property.

“We need to take more action to get other development to come to the area,” he said.

Resident David Hanson said businesses want to see more development and growth in the community.

Councilman at-Large Tarry Alberini said many communities are struggling to get business. He and other officials said they have marketed the area.

Waddell said communities are also supporting small businesses.

In other business at Tuesday’s meeting, council voted 4-1 on final reading to allow, but regulate, golf carts on the streets.

Alberini, who cast the “no” vote, said he was concerned with the vehicles on the roads.

First Ward Councilman Joseph Battisti said the golf carts have lights and license plates on them.

A motion by council to let the carts go 35 mph on village roads was defeated by council. Carts will be restricted to the 25 mph speed limit.

Fourth Ward Councilman Phillip Beer said the golf carts can obstruct traffic. “I don’t think golf carts should be on the main thoroughfares and create a problem for traffic,” he said.

Beer said the carts can get around town easily enough without increasing the speed limit. “It is not a good idea to increase to 35 mph,” he said.

Resident Debra Zampino, who owns a golf cart, said it is legal by the Ohio Revised Code to have a cart on the road. She said her cart was inspected by Cortland Police Department and has turn signals, brake lights, a horn and license plates.

“I don’t care what is the speed limit. I don’t think my cart can go 35 mph,” she said.

Zampino said the carts are no different than someone riding on the street on a bike noting the carts have turn signals and lights.