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SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP Trustee complains grants are lacking



Published: Sat, September 8, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The township should be guaranteed money each year since it contains part of a landfill, a trustee said.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Springfield Township is getting dumped on when it comes to getting grants from the Mahoning County Recycling Division, a township trustee says.

But his colleagues and a recycling division official say the complaint is unfounded and that the township has the same shot at the money as every other government group in the county.

The recycling division, formerly known as the solid waste district, awards grants to subdivisions each year with revenue generated from tipping fees at county landfills. Browning-Ferris Industries has a landfill that straddles Springfield and Poland townships.

Tipping fees are fees paid by trash haulers for dumping debris at landfills.

Springfield Trustee Reed Metzka said that since those townships hold the landfill that brings in the recycling division's money, they should get first consideration for funding at grant time.

"We bear the burden of the landfill in our township," Metzka said. "We should get some of the money."

Angry: He was angry that the township's request for $14,400 to pave a parking lot at the fire station was turned down, while entities such as the Canfield Fair Board got $48,000, Mill Creek Junior Baseball got $25,600 and Youngstown Parks and Recreation got $36,292, all for parking lot improvement projects.

Springfield Trustee Lee Kohler also serves on the fair board and defended that grant and project, which included paving one of two parking lots at the fairgrounds for people with disabilities.

He said the fairgrounds is one of the most widely used facilities in the county, and paving the lot made it more easily accessible to the public.

John Cox, assistant director, said the recycling division gave $14,000 to New Middletown for park improvements. The village is in Springfield Township.

"We thought we were taking care of people in that general area. I don't know why [Metzka] is complaining," Cox said, noting that Springfield Township has received funding in the past.

Kohler and Trustee Tom Kerr said they have no problem with the recycling division's decision. They said the township has received funding in the past, and that Metzka was in charge of securing a grant for the township this year.

"This is not my fault and it's not Tom Kerr's fault," Kohler said. "It's nothing but politics." Kerr and Kohler were not at the commissioners' meeting and didn't know Metzka was going.

Cox said the panel tries to distribute the funding fairly in ways that will best suit the entire county.

The policy committee received funding requests for 21 projects across the county, and funded nine of them. Amounts ranged from $48,906 for the fair board to $2,820 for the Damascus Area Historical Society.

bjackson@vindy.com




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