Discount: It's now easier for nonprofit companies to rent facilities from Mill Creek Metroparks:
*The park board approved a resolution Monday that allows a 50 percent discount on rentals for all nonprofit organizations. Organizations must produce a government letter certifying their nonprofit status.
*Previously, only organizations associated with the United Way were given such discounts. Other groups were required to bring rental requests before the board and produce rental fees up front. "Some of these nonprofit organizations are having trouble coming up with the money up front," said Bill Schollaert, park executive director. Schollaert said rental fees range from $50 to a couple thousand dollars, depending on the facility.
*Reservations can be made at the Fellows Riverside Gardens in Youngstown or at the park offices at the Mahoning County Experimental & amp; Educational Farm in Canfield.
Development: Construction is started on 54 new homes worth a total of about $18 million, said township Zoning Inspector Dave Morrison. He told trustees Monday that $23 million worth of new homes were built in the township last year. He predicted this year's figure will surpass last year's.
Animal laws: Township trustees have taken the first step toward specifying what animals can be kept in the township, and how those animals are to be cared for.
*Trustees had the first of two required readings Monday of the 13-page proposed resolution. The second reading is expected Sept. 24.
*Administrator Curt Seditz said trustees have been considering an animal control and exotic animal resolution for at least six months, and not in reaction to a 6-foot-long caiman that got loose in Austintown in August.
*The ordinance will cover three areas of animal control, including rules on dog control that already are in place. Fines for residents who neglect to confine or control noise from their dogs will continue to range from $25 to $100. The ordinance will include a new fine schedule and new language regarding dogs considered to be dangerous or vicious -- one that has bitten, attacked or belongs to the pit bull family. Dog owners who fail to control such dogs under the pending resolution could have the animal confiscated. Those residents will also face fines ranging from $250 to $1,000.
*The ordinance also goes in depth in the limiting of what exotic animals residents can have and how those pets must be confined.
*Trustees awarded a $56,880 contract to Rudzik Excavating of Struthers for work at the Applewood Acres retention basin. Road Superintendent Gary Dawson said work on the basin should begin by early October. Buildup in the basin's bottom has diminished overall capacity and must be cleaned out.
Township trustees handled these matters Monday night:
* Liberty will begin its "Zero In On Litter" program with nine designated areas. The township will post signs, set a fine up to $500, and create a phone number to take anonymous tips.
* The township is looking for a suitable site to establish a SCOPE center for senior citizens. With the help of Janet Sweitzer, local executive SCOPE director, trustees are looking for a three- to five-thousand-square-foot, barrier-free area with parking.
* Oct. 11 will be the grand opening of the new post office, noting that hours will be 8:30 a.m. through 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8:30 to noon Saturdays and will be open during lunch hours.
* payment of $11,827.20 to MS Consultants of Youngstown, engineering consultants, for the Belmont Avenue pedestrian walkway project.
* an amount not to exceed $10,000 for Capital Improvements at Church Hill Cemetery.
* an amount, not to exceed $3,000, for materials to construct a press box, to be built by volunteers, at 317 Church Hill Road to benefit community sports unaffiliated with the schools.
* Accepted the resignation of fire department Capt. Roger DiFrangia, 32-year veteran, effective July 9, 2001.
* Hired Mary Louise Gardner as part-time telecommunicator at $6 per hour, effective Aug 29.
Zoning: Set a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8 regarding propsed changes in the zoning code for signs and outdoor advertising and discontinued uses.
Resigned: Accepted the resignation of public works employee Brad Rose and spent nearly an hour in executive session discussing personnel matters, but took no action.
Hirings: Hired Anthony Meraglio and Joanne Franks to coordinate the special education programs at district middle schools. They will start this fall. The coordinator positions were created this year in response to the growing number of special education students in the district.
Lease: Terminated a lease with the Austintown Township trustees for nine acres along Falcon Drive near South Racoon Road. The land was leased to the trustees in 1999 for 99 years at a cost of $1 each year. The trustees decided they had no use for the land and asked to terminate the lease.

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