Lions Club officially unveils latest edition to city of Martins Ferry

MARTINS FERRY – The Martins Ferry Lions Club is helping to beautify the city of Martins Ferry one section of town at a time.

Friday, various Lions’ members along with other dignitaries and business representatives officially unveiled the latest project, the city’s new welcome wall on the corner of Ohio 7 and Hanover St.

”The Martins Ferry Lions Club has just completed its largest project to date with the completion of the welcome wall to the city of Martins Ferry,” Ferry Lions Club president Paul Riethmiller said. ”It took several months to build at a cost of more than $6,000 from the Lions club’s general operating funds.”

The wall itself is 26 feet long and seven feet high, consisting of 926 individual Edington earth blend wall stones glued together with limestone caps and a built-in flower bed.

The project was completed with lighting and landscaping with black mulch and more than four tons of river stone.

Lighting helps illuminate the three flag poles and American, State of Ohio, Lions Club and Martins Ferry flags blowing blowing in the wind above the wall.

Riethmiller stated the idea began months ago when the Lions approached the Ohio Department of Transportation in New Philadelphia about the prospects of installing the wall on the corner.

ODOT owns the property and was also responsible with maintaining the grounds.

”We had to get ODOT’s permission,” Riethmiller explained. ”They came down for a visual inspection and to look at our plans. Then we had to have written permission.”

An agreement was struck that the lights would be maintained, along with changing the flags when necessary.

The Lions will also handle keeping the plants watered and the grass mowed.

It was a win-win for ODOT, with the Lions now handling the landscaping responsibilities and the corner now featuring a welcome wall instead of growing grass and weeds.

Riethmiller was quick to offers thanks to ODOT, the Martins Ferry Administration and, in particular, the business in and outside of town that helped out with time and materials.

”This entire project could not have been completed without the support of our local businesses and help from several individual city residents,” Riethmiller said.

”Once this wall started going up you could just see and hear the excitement around the town about the welcome wall.

”A special thank you to Lollini & Sons for their help with the design, materials, construction suggestions and on-site assistance during this project.”

Lollini & Sons wasn’t the only business offering assistance however. Wilson Blacktop, Ochsenbine Construction, Ferry Hardware, Ultimate Signs and Graphics, Bodnar & Son Florist, Ayers Limestone, Mike’s Auto Center and Randall L. Gallagher Memorials all either donated time and materials or provided the Lions’ with a hefty discount.

Riethmiller noted that one of the Lions’ main goals was the help clean up the entrance to the city and make a “visual impact in our community with a new welcome wall.”