STEUBENVILLE - One of the larger communities in the Ohio Valley, the city of Steubenville is looking forward to embracing new opportunities while maintaining its longtime traditions, said Mayor Domenick Mucci Jr.
The seat of Jefferson County, Steubenville's population is hovering around 18,500 residents. Mucci, who is in his 20th year of his current position, is encouraged by a U.S. Census Bureau study, however, that states traffic has increased to about 25,000 people in the city during daylight hours.
The steel that once was produced in Steubenville helped America become a world power, and the city thrived under a robust economy. With the steel industry no longer viable in Steubenville, Mucci said the city is looking forward to reaping the benefits of the natural gas industry.
Known as “The City of Murals,” Steubenville is the hometown of Dean Martin. This mural on the front facade of the Kroger store pays tribute to the city’s favorite son.
Photo by Tyler Reynard
And it appears the city is soon to realize some of these benefits, with the ongoing construction of a Microtel, and officials are eager to offer their housing and retail opportunities to the members of the incoming industry, Mucci said.
The past year saw an investment in the city's infrastructure with the completion of the multimillion-dollar repaving of Washington Street and Ohio 7. Mucci hopes a similar project on University Boulevard will be completed sometime in the fall.
Mucci expressed excitement over the construction of an observation deck on the remaining pier of the recently demolished Fort Steuben Bridge, as well as the revitalization of the Market Street Bridge connecting Steubenville to Follansbee.
Some of the Steubenville's top employers are the health care and education fields, including Trinity Health System and Steubenville City Schools.
The city is also home to Franciscan University of Steubenville and Eastern Gateway Community College, which marked its highest enrollment for the second consecutive year, Mucci pointed out.
He called both institutions assets to the city.
Monsignor Jeffrey M. Monforton succeeded Bishop R. Daniel Conlon in July as bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Steubenville.
Mucci said in his conversations with Monforton, the bishop revealed himself to be committed to the diocese, the city itself and the university.
Called the "City of Murals," the depictions found on many of the buildings in the downtown business district, as well as one of Steubenville native Dean Martin on the front facade of the city's Kroger store, are one of the tourist draws.
Historic Fort Steuben recalls days when Steubenville marked the westward boundary of the United States and it is open to the public most of the year.
During the summer months, the Berkman Amphitheatre Concert Series, which takes place at the site of the fort, offers free weekly concerts to music fans.
The Grecian Food Festival brings Ohio Valley residents seeking traditional Greek cuisine and music downtown every summer, but the main draw every year is the Dean Martin Festival.
The annual celebration of Steubenville's favorite son brings people to the city from all over the nation and overseas.