LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Confusion tonight in Lordstown over who should pay for a new traffic light at the entrance of the Ultium Cells plant, the company or the village?
Lordstown council decided it would be business-friendly and pick up the tab.
Two weeks ago, Lordstown Village Council agreed to pay no more than $45,000 for a temporary traffic light at the entrance of the new Ultium Cells plant on Route 45. The plan included reimbursement from Ultium Cells — a plan Ultium officials say they were unaware of.
Monday night, village council would decide if it would pay.
“If it goes 3-3, I will be voting not to repeal,” said Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill.
President and CEO of the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber Guy Coviello urged council to pay for the light.
“Sending a message to others that we are the business-friendly place and to come build your factories and build your warehouses,” Coviello said.
State Senator Michael Rulli offered the state’s help.
“The state needs to partner with you. We don’t ever want to be against you, we don’t ever want to be against you. We want to work with you. If you have a snag in the road and you need our help, you need to reach out,” Rulli said.
Others had concerns if a traffic light isn’t put up.
“I mean, I realize the cost and everything but I also think we have to look at our citizens and think about the traffic problems that’s going to occur down there,” said Lordstown resident William Catlin.
“I think it’s a personal obligation on my part to try and alleviate the possibility of any type of accident,” said Lordstown councilman Don Reider.
Other council members took issue with Ultium.
“Somebody says, ‘I’m not going to do what I said I’d do.’ So you just let it go. I think we have no choice but to repeal this,” said Lordstown councilman Robert Bond. “Look at TJX. How many lights are there? Who paid for them? They paid for them. We had the same deal set up here and then somebody decided they didn’t want to pay for them.”
Council voted 3-3. Mayor Hill had the deciding vote and decided the village would pay for the light. He hopes to get help with funding from the state.
“Due to the fact we are the hot spot, I think that they will come and give us a helping hand. I vote no,” Hill said.