By Susan Luster Lynch
CV&T Staff Writer
Arthur Long left a large part of his estate to the city of Ravenna. His lawyer recently sent a check for $383,762.92, which Long specified was to be used for the youth and needy seniors of Ravenna.
There were several items on the agenda last night at the Ravenna City Council meeting, but at the top of the list was the announcement of a sizable monetary donation to the city.
Arthur Long, a former Ravenna resident who passed away in 2017, left a large part of his estate to the city of Ravenna. A check for the amount of $383,762.92 was received from Long’s lawyer. The council voted last night on how to keep the money safe until a committee is established to distribute it.
In his will, Long specified he wanted his money to be used for Ravenna’s youth and needy seniors. A lawyer is currently working on the details as to how that will allow the money to be spent. Councilwoman Sharon Snowden spoke highly of Arthur Long, whom she considered a friend. She then made a motion that the council accept the generous donation to the city of Ravenna from Arthur Long. Snowden said that in her opinion the money should be deposited into a short-term interest-bearing account until the council has discussed how to disperse the money. All council members were in agreement.
William “Pig” VanCleve then asked mayor Tipton about the park. According to VanCleve, the Division of Waste Management released a 158 page report regarding the soil in the park in February of this year. The report allegedly says that there were nine heavy metals discovered in 29 holes that were dug in the park’s soil. Arsenic was said to be found in each hole. An acceptable level of 3 mg. of arsenic is found in most soil but the soil at the park had levels that far exceeded that number. The average was 18 mg. of arsenic in each sample.
Council Woman Sharon Snowden said she felt that the city council and the community should have been notified as soon as it was brought to the mayor’s attention.
Mayor Tipton assured everyone that she had spoken to both CSX and the Division of Waste Management and that there were no dangers evident on the grounds unless someone was living on the premises or working there 12 hours or more per day. CSX has also agreed to come to the grounds and pull off one foot of the old soil and replace it with new topsoil just as a precaution.
Before the meeting adjourned, City employee Ricky Williams asked if he could address the council. Williams stated he had an incident earlier that day concerning councilwoman Sharon Snowden. He also said he had already spoken to his lawyer. Williams told Snowden, “Don’t come back to where I am working and interrupt me again.” He also added, “That goes for Pig, too.” The issue was deemed as personal and said it should be discussed outside of the meeting.
The last thing mentioned was the park restrooms. Councilwoman Tina Johnson ask the mayor if they were out of order, because they were not unlocked on Sunday. Mayor Tipton said she honestly forgot to unlock them before church Sunday. The mayor also told the council that the vandalism in the bathrooms was under control now and she had plans of keeping them open every day from here on out.
The next Ravenna meeting will be on September 10 at 6 p.m. and all concerned Ravenna residents are welcome to attend.