CONNEAUT ─ The demolition of a wind turbine in the Conneaut Harbor is set for later this month, after an initial delay due to COVID-19.
The contract to demolish the turbine was awarded earlier this year, but after Gov. Mike DeWine issued a stay at home order, the subcontractor hired to perform crane work on the project halted operations.
A new crane company was found, and the deconstruction is scheduled to start on April 20.
“We should be able to conduct it within a reasonable period of time,” City Manager Jim Hockaday said.
The wind turbine was struck by lightning in February 2017, destroying one of its blades and fusing the mechanisms inside the turbine. The operator refused to repair the turbine without a new long-term agreement.
The city took ownership of the turbine after filing a lawsuit in late 2018.
In November 2019, high winds loosened the internal mechanisms, and the turbine blades started spinning again, prompting the city to install a pin to prevent the blades from spinning.
During high winds on Monday, the pin broke, and the blades began spinning again.
“The wind stress became so high today it sheared that pin,” Hockaday said at Monday’s council meeting.
Both times, the city has closed roads around the turbine, out of an abundance of caution.
A new pin was set to be installed in the turbine on Tuesday, weather permitting.
In other business:
Restrictions on liquor sales
On Monday, DeWine announced that liquor sales would be restricted to Ohio residents in the counties that border Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania closed its state-owned liquor stores on March 9, according to an order issued by Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health.
People seeking to purchase liquor in the counties covered under the order will have to present a valid Ohio photo ID when they make their purchase, or having mail with the person’s name and a valid Ohio address.
“We’ve had numerous issues with lots of folks coming to the liquor store,” Hockaday said.
The law department has filed charges against people who have violated local, state and federal health orders, said Christopher Newcomb, Conneaut’s assistant law director.
Newcomb encouraged residents to report people who are violating health orders.
The only ordinance on the agenda for Monday night was a change to the council’s emergency rules, allowing council to meet remotely. The city’s initial change in rules allowed for council to meet remotely, but required a number of council members to be present in council chambers.
On Monday, Conneaut council removed that requirement.
The ordinance also suspends in-person citizen comments at meetings. Public comments can be made via telephone or email, Council President Jon Arcaro said.
“I would encourage the public to still provide your comments to council, questions or concerns, either by email or telephone,” Arcaro said.
Email addresses are listed on the city’s website, www.conneautohio.gov.
Temporary traffic lights
A temporary set of traffic lights will be installed at Route 7 and Loves Drive, where a new gas station and truck stop is being built.
A new Truck World is being built along Route 7, south of Interstate 90, and the entrance will be directly across Route 7 from Loves Drive.
The temporary traffic signals will be replaced by a permanent set at the intersection in the future.
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