Commissioners want to keep Phar-Mor a vital part of the local economy.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Mahoning County commissioners will lend their support to an effort to preserve local jobs by selling Phar-Mor to a Minnesota drugstore chain.
Commissioners will send a letter to Judge William Bodoh of U.S. Bankruptcy Court asking him to approve a sale to Snyder's Drug Stores. The move comes at the request of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber.
Chamber President Thomas M. Humphries said in a letter to commissioners that Phar-Mor employs more than 1,100 people at its eight local stores and distribution center.
He said Snyder's, if allowed to take over the chain, will keep most of the local facilities open.
Another option presented to the bankruptcy court is turning over Phar-Mor to liquidation companies, who said they would try to sell the stores as ongoing operations. If that is unsuccessful, the stores would be closed.
"Another unnecessary loss of jobs would be a serious setback in our efforts to recover from the demise of the steel industry in the 1970s," Humphries wrote in the letter.
"From an economic development standpoint, finding a buyer willing to continue the firm's operations rather than liquidating the assets would create a positive outcome from this unfortunate situation."
Commissioners voted unanimously to follow the chamber's lead and send a resolution to the court supporting the Snyder's proposal.
Commissioner Ed Reese said it's important for the board to do whatever it can to help keep Phar-Mor alive.
"It's a diversified company and its presence in downtown Youngstown is important," Reese said. "Snyder's would be a good corporate addition to our county."
Youngstown Mayor George McKelvey said he also intends to write a letter in support of Snyder's.
Commissioners also awarded a contract to Northern Ohio Paving of Twinsburg, which was low bidder for the county's summer paving program to be funded with revenue from a county sales tax.
The company submitted a bid of $503,522 and will pave 11 miles of road, said Engineer Richard Marsico. Work is expected to begin July 22.
Marilyn Kenner, chief deputy engineer, said the county will also pave an additional 21 miles of road, which will be funded with state Issue 2 money. That contract has not yet been awarded.
Commissioners approved a resolution changing the name of Euclid Boulevard, south of Indianola Road in Boardman Township, to Cranberry Lane.