NEWTON FALLS Commissioners deny annexation request
WARREN -- Trumbull County commissioners have turned down an appeal from developers to annex 35 acres of land in Newton Township to Newton Falls for a condominium complex.
"It didn't make sense the way it was presented," said Joseph Angelo Jr., a county commissioner. "Something didn't seem right."
The property is part of a 50-acre parcel north of West Broad Street owned by Gilbert Rieger, of Warren, and Jerry Carleton, of Cortland. About 15 acres of the land is already in the city, while the remainder is in the township.
At a hearing in May, Rieger and Carleton said they would prefer to have the entire property in Newton Falls in order to take advantage of city fire and police services and lower utility rates.
Having the entire condo development in the city would also prevent confusion among potential buyers, said Joe Koch, whose company, Koch Construction, is to build the condominiums.
"This is taking too much out of the township," said Michael O'Brien, another of the three county commissioners. "They could accommodate what they want to do in the township."
This will be one of the last Trumbull County annexations to be considered before state law is changed to give commissioners more leeway to turn them down. In general, annexation is strongly opposed by townships because it robs them of tax base.
"I'm tickled pink to see one finally go our way," said Atty. Mark Finamore, who represented Newton Township trustees in their opposition to the annexation.
The developers and their attorney could not be reached Wednesday.
In February, the commissioners rejected a proposal to annex about 300 acres from Braceville and Newton Townships to Newton Falls because the property owner, David Hanson, did not advertise the annexation hearing properly.