MAHONING COUNTY Firm hired for sewer project

Work on the waterline portion of the project should begin in early spring.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Engineers were hired Thursday to guide development and construction of a $14.5 million water and sewer expansion project in western Mahoning County.
County commissioners approved contracts with Thomas Fok & amp; Associates of Youngstown for $734,451, and with MS Consultants of Youngstown for $850,105.
Joseph Warino, sanitary engineer, said Fok will handle the sanitary sewer portion of the project, and MS Consultants will do the water.
"This is going to be an outstanding project," said Commissioner Ed Reese, noting that besides bringing relief to residents in Milton Township, the project will open the door for development along the Mahoning Avenue corridor.
Warino said the project, which commissioners announced in September, will extend county water and sewer lines into areas surrounding the east and west sides of Lake Milton.
It will include construction of a 1-million-gallon tank that will be used as a secondary water source for area residents in the event of a main waterline break.
Here's the schedule
The sanitary sewer system will eliminate the need for about 350 private septic systems in that area, many of which have been leaking into the lake, said Jeff Donofrio of Thomas Fok & amp; Associates.
Warino said construction of the waterline should get started in early spring, and sanitary sewer construction should begin shortly afterward. The entire project should take about two years to complete.
He said the project is being funded largely through government grants and loans, which were leveraged through an initial investment of $200,000 of local seed money, which came from a county sales tax.
"We took that initial investment, and from there, the funding just kept growing and growing," Warino said. "The end result was just phenomenal."
Autopsy contract
Commissioners also signed an agreement to contract with the Franklin County Coroner's office to perform autopsies on an as-needed basis, at $917 per case.
The county has been without a forensic pathologist to perform autopsies locally since Dr. Jesse Giles left for a job in Florida last summer.
Reese said commissioners and Coroner David Kennedy are still looking for a replacement. In the meantime, the county has to send bodies to other counties for autopsies.
Cuyahoga County did autopsies last year, but stopped accepting Mahoning County's work this year because it could no longer handle the extra load. Bodies now are being sent to Summit County, and will be sent to Franklin County only when necessary.

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