WARREN Townships to fight annexation

Officials believe a medical facility will be built on the undeveloped land in Bazetta Township.
WARREN -- A proposed annexation has two townships vowing a fight against the city.
Several land owners on Elm Road filed petitions Oct. 23 with Trumbull County commissioners asking for their property to be annexed to the city. If the annexation is approved, it could mean the city would get 35.8 acres of Howland Township and 166.5 acres of Bazetta.
Elmhurst Properties, Jerry Carlton Enterprises, Northern Development company, Edward and Alice Byers, Garland and Ruth Bradshaw, Joseph and Jane Smith, Vincent and Mary Jane Marilla, Jack and Mary Ann Drummond, and Andrew and Dorothy Kostyo are the property owners who signed the petition.
Plans to fight: "We are very unhappy," said John Emanuel, Howland Township administrator. "We will fight this. It's war."
Bill Glancy, a Bazetta Township trustee, agreed, saying he doesn't understand why the land owners want annexation.
"We have done everything we could [to help them]," Glancy said.
Atty. Tom Nader, who represents the petitioners, said the landowners want annexation for several reasons, including economic development.
"If they are annexed into the city they can get more assistance from the city," Nader said. "Plus, right now the Bazetta police had to make cutbacks, and the city is in a better position to offer more police and fire protection."
The city's already short-staffed police and fire squads will not be overburdened, Angelo said -- they already respond to the area because the city's water filtration plant is on Elm Road in Bazetta.
The land the petitioners want annexed includes the area where Tops Friendly Market and Banc One are at North River Road and Elm, heading north past state Route 5 bypass and encompassing about 166 acres of undeveloped land.
Possible plan: Glancy and Mike Keys, director of Warren Redevelopment and Planning, said they believe a medical facility will be built on the vacant land in Bazetta Township.
Glancy and Keys said they did not know the name of the company that wants to build on the land. Angelo declined to say what developers have planned but noted that a $1 million building would be built on the land, creating 35 jobs.
Hearing to be set: Commissioners will set a hearing on the petition, and developers, the city and townships will have a chance to present their cases.
Angelo said 100 percent of the abutting property owners have signed on to the proposal for annexation.
"We're not looking to fight with Howland Township," he said. "It's not a force issue. It's not anything the city pushed on anyone."
The annexation must be approved or denied by commissioners within 90 days after the public hearing.
Angelo said he's proud the developers think enough of Warren to invest their futures here.
"We support their right to be a part of the city or a part of the township if that's what they want," Angelo said.
If it's approved, the annexation would enhance Warren's aggressive marketing campaign that aims to attract new business by showing off the city's assets, Keys said.
The mayor went on to say this is why Warren and many other Ohio cities opposed a new law that could take effect in 2002 that will give townships more say in the process.
The bill was signed by Gov. Bob Taft, but a coalition of cities generated the needed signatures to secure a referendum that will appear on the November 2002 ballot.
sinkovich@vindy.com; davis@vindy.com

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