GIRARD Leatherworks trial is delayed
GIRARD -- The 11th District Court of Appeals has delayed indefinitely a trial to determine the ownership of the Ohio Leatherworks property.
The trial had been scheduled to begin today in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.
The city has been attempting to foreclose on the U.S. Route 422 property since 1995. The former tannery closed more than 30 years ago.
Judge Donald R. Ford of the appellate court ordered the trial not to begin while the city responds to motions filed by owners of the 27 acres, Leatherworks Partnership.
Not surprised: Mayor James J. Melfi, who says he has been frustrated with the length of the legal process, said he wasn't surprised by the latest delay.
Melfi said this is the third time that cleanup of the property began and the partnership received a delay.
"At least there is some progress [in the latest cleanup effort this winter]," the mayor asserted.
Fines due: 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 the result of a 1995 fire.