PETERSBURG — Perhaps the thing that impresses a visitor the most in Petersburg is the truck traffic.
Throughout the day, large trucks carrying stones from nearby underground mines rumble through. It’s a generally positive thing because it means people are at work.
But residents say they’ll be glad to get rid of one of Petersburg’s other features: the smell of septic waste that fills the air in summertime or whenever the storm sewer system backs up and overflows into the streets.
The Mahoning County Sanitary Engineer’s office put together a project containing more than 50 percent grant funding for Petersburg, an unincorporated village in the southeast corner of Mahoning County, in the 1970s. But residents stopped the action in court, saying the sewers would cost them as much as their homes.
In 2000, Springfield Township trustees asked the sanitary engineer and county board of health to revisit the idea of installing sewers there — this time with the goal of securing enough federal and state funding to make the project affordable.
Crucial to the success of the project was the help of Gov. Ted Strickland, then a congressman, and state Sen. John Boccieri, from nearby New Middletown, who helped secure $2.5 million in loans and a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said Joe Warino, county sanitary engineer.
This year, officials secured the final piece of the funding puzzle — a $900,000 loan from the USDA — that allowed the project to move into the construction phase.
Construction begins soon
Dave Sugar Excavating Inc. of Petersburg is expected to begin construction within weeks and build the sewer in about a year.
Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on Vindy.com