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OHIO LEATHERWORKS Mayor: Cleanup plan is outlined



Published: Sat, November 10, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The city won the latest legal battle over cleaning up the old Leatherworks property.

By TIM YOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

GIRARD -- An attorney representing owners of the former Ohio Leatherworks property has outlined what steps will be taken to clean it up, the mayor says.

However, Mayor James Melfi hasn't been given a timetable.

Melfi said Friday that the lawyer for Leatherworks Partnership, C. Michael Tarone of Washington, D.C., told him the area will be fenced and containers will be placed on the property to remove asbestos.

The debris will be removed and the underground tanks will be excavated, Melfi said Tarone told him.

Tarone could not be reached.

Anthony Cervone III, operational service manager for Innerscope Technical Services, which is doing the cleanup, said the area is already fenced.

"No trespassing" signs will go up next week, Cervone said.

Melfi, though, said he wants to see that what's left of the old tannery building and the tanks under it are fenced in.

Cervone said he doesn't know what's in a large storage tank under the rubble. He referred other questions to Tarone.

At issue since '95: Legal activity has been swirling around the 27-acre site along U.S. Route 422 since fire destroyed much of the vacant building there in 1995.

The city has been attempting to foreclose on the property for development and to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in zoning violation fines and payment for work the city did as a result of the blaze.

Agreement stands: On Tuesday, Judge W. Wyatt McKay of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court denied a Leatherworks motion to set aside a 1996 agreement between the partnership and the city to settle all claims.

Judge McKay also denied a motion by Leatherworks to vacate his 1997 judgment that included many terms of the 1996 settlement agreement.

In his opinion, Judge McKay said the partnership's attorney at the time, Pete Bozanich of Youngstown, had full authority to act on behalf of his client to reach a settlement.

The judge wrote that Bozanich agreed to obligate his client to the terms and conditions of the 1996 settlement and represented to the court that he received specific authorization to do so.

Bozanich is one of several attorneys to represent Leatherworks.

yovich@vindy.com




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