More than 500 residents oppose borrowing for a safety upgrade to Niles-Carver Road.
MINERAL RIDGE -- Weathersfield Township trustees will hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. Aug. 17 at the township administration building in response to a petition drive against borrowing for the estimated $157,000 Phase I of the Niles-Carver Road safety upgrade project.
Trustees were given copies of the petitions last month, signed by 547 residents, by Trustee John Vogel, trustee Chairman Fred Bobovnyk and vice-chairman James Stoddard said at Tuesday's meeting.
Vogel, a signer of the petition, contended that he showed the trustees the copies of the petition at the July meeting, and said he gave the petition to the other trustees. Stoddard and Bobovnyk said the copies of the petitions were put in their mailboxes the next day. While Vogel said the copies constituted the actual petition, the two other trustees did not agree.
Stoddard added: "I don't know if that's an ongoing petition. I have not seen the petition, and I don't know if I have it all."
Vogel asked Township Solicitor Atty. William Roux for an opinion on the matter, and Roux said that if the petitions had been presented at the meeting, it would be in the minutes. Vogel wanted the minutes from the July meeting changed to say the petitions were presented, but his amendment to the minutes was voted down.
Roux repeated to trustees advice he said he has been giving them "for years": Trustees should tape-record the meetings.
Vogel asked trustees Tuesday to consider a change in venue for the Aug. 17 meeting to the high school auditorium, and Bobovnyk said he would look into it.
Fighting the loan
James Squires, of 1649 Warner Ave., said trustees missed the point of the petitions, saying: "People don't want to borrow the money."
The petition stated: "We object to the township being committed to a multi-year loan of $157,000, which will require a significant amount of the township's annual budget."
The township plans to do a safety upgrade on Niles-Carver Road, from County Line Road just short of Salt Springs Road, which will include paving, ditching, piping and installing catch basins.
The project is to be funded through a loan from state issue 2 funds approved in 2002 for 2003. The township can have a $150,000, interest-free loan under the program to pay for the project.
Bobovnyk said the township can find funds for the project from the $50,000 to $59,000 it receives annually in license plate taxes and from gasoline tax. "There is money there to take care of it," he said.
Bids have not yet been let for the project, pending receipt of final information for specifications from MS Consultants of Youngstown.
Trumbull County also has a $545,000 safety upgrade planned for the intersection of Salt Springs Road and Niles-Carver Road, using a grant obtained through the county and Eastgate Regional Council of Governments.
In other business at their meeting, trustees:
UHeard Fire Chief Randy Pugh report that the Mineral Ridge Firemen's Association held a Spaghetti Dinner on Aug. 7 and to date has raised $6,400 for Josef Caruso, a 5-year-old township boy with cancer.
UAnnounced that the Trumbull County Solid Waste Management agency has notified trustees that because of funding cuts, cardboard recycling pickups at the township administration building will stop Sept. 16. Trustees plan to discuss possibly paying for the pickup to continue at their caucus Sept. 1.
UAnnounced that a new weather alert siren has been installed at the Mineral Ridge Fire Station on state Route 46 paid for by the Trumbull County Emergency Management System/Department of Homeland Security. The siren will be sounded at noon Saturdays.
UAnnounced that the firemen's association has bought 13 Kenwood radios for the Ridge Fire Station No. 41 for $4,777.