FOLLANSBEE - Follansbee City Council heard Monday from two businesses that will be involved in charity efforts in November.
Vito "Skip" Cutrone told council he will again offer a free Thanksgiving buffet at his restaurant, Vito's 2, on Thanksgiving and will be conducting non-perishable food drives at his other businesses, K&J's Skip 'n' Go and the Java Shoppe for the R.E.A.C.H. Program, a local food pantry.
Cutrone said everyone is welcome to the dinner, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, regardless of need. Those interested in coming are asked to call (304) 527-4440 so he will have an idea of how many to expect, he said.
Cutrone said the callers need not give their names, just the number who will be attending.
He said about 250 turned out last year, the first in which the dinner was held, and he hopes to double that this year and possibly deliver meals to those unable to come.
Cutrone said any monetary donations made during the meal will be given to the R.E.A.C.H. Program. He said about $300 was raised for the food pantry last year.
Food left over from last year's buffet was taken to the Anderson Children's Home, he added.
Cutrone said there are a larger number of hungry people in the community than many might guess. As the owner of businesses in Follansbee for 23 years, he said he also saw it as a way "to give back to the community."
Council also heard from Eric Fithyan, owner of Chambers and James Funeral Homes, who said the funeral homes in Wellsburg and Follansbee will be accepting donations of sweaters and gloves for veterans living in local nursing homes and in state facilities for retired veterans.
Fithyan said the sweaters and gloves may be left in red and blue boxes found outside the two funeral homes Nov. 1-12. He said the Ohio Valley Veterans Memorial Squad has agreed to distribute the items to the local veterans, while he and his staff will deliver the ones for the state veterans homes.
Fithyan said he also will be accepting monetary donations for wreaths to be placed on graves of veterans at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Bridgeville, Pa.
In other business, council:
Heard from Sharlee DeMaria, who requested a handicap parking space near her home in the 900 block of Virginia Avenue.
There is a handicap space in that block, and council normally limits them to one per block. But DeMaria said parking spaces in her block and two adjacent ones often are filled by people going to the Brooke County Senior Center nearby.
Sharlee DeMaria said residents have blocked the spaces with chairs to ensure they have a place to park but were told by Follansbee Police they can't do that.
City Attorney Michael Gaudio said the spaces are on a public street and may be used by anyone. But he said he's noticed some vehicles in a city lot nearby that haven't been moved in some time and he and Follansbee Police Chief John Schwertfeger will look into whether they can be moved or other measures taken.
Approved the hiring of Shane Siranovic of New Cumberland as a police officer. Schwertfeger said Siranovic is certified, so the city won't have to pay for him to attend State Police Academy.
Third Ward Councilwoman Kathy Santoro asked Schwertfeger if the new hiring will reduce the need for part-time officers hired earlier this year.
The police chief said it will to some extent but the part-time officers, many of them employed by other local law enforcement agencies, will continue to be scheduled for weekend patrols.
With the new hiring, the Follansbee Police Department will have six full-time and three part-time officers.
Announced the city's fall cleanup will be held Oct. 22-27. Bulky items may be left out by residents on the days their garbage is normally collected.
The city won't accept construction materials, oil, paints, tires, batteries, televisions or computers.
For information, call (304) 527-1330.
Announced trick or treat hours will be from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31 to conform with those set by the cities of Steubenville and Wellsburg and the Brooke County Commission for unincorporated areas of the county.
(Scott can be contacted at email@example.com)