By DAVID SKOLNICK
CITY HALL REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN — The transfer of Mahoning County-owned land in Boardman to Youngstown as a site for a new 1.5-million-gallon water tank raised objections from township officials.
So the sale is off, but the project is still on.
Youngstown City Council will consider legislation Wednesday permitting the city to lease the property on Erskin Avenue from the county.
The city and county have a tentative agreement that should be approved shortly, said Kathleen Slavens, the deputy law director who negotiated the deal for Youngstown.
Boardman Trustee Kathy Miller is pleased the proposal is a lease and not a sale.
“I don’t have a problem with a lease at all,” she said.
Boardman Township Administrator Jason Loree also said he doesn’t see a reason why the board of trustees would oppose a lease.
Loree sent a letter to the county commissioners in December 2006 asking the county not to sell the land to Youngstown.
Boardman officials had two fears about the transfer: It could have led to the city annexing portions of the township, and it could assist the city in implementing a Joint Economic Development District.
A JEDD would allow Youngstown to implement an income tax in designated areas of the township — something Boardman officials oppose.
The new tank
The city wants to build a 1.5-million-gallon water tank on Erskine to replace two 500,000-gallon tanks, one on Erskine and the other on Indianola Road on the city’s South Side.
The larger tank would permit the city to store more water in that area as well as provide better water pressure to its customers there, said city Water Commissioner John Casciano.
The tank would cost about $3 million. The city has a $1.17 million zero-percent state loan for the project, with the city seeking the rest of the money from an Ohio Water Development Association low-interest loan, Casciano said. There is no time frame for building the tank.
The city doesn’t want to pay anything to lease the land while county commissioners are still mulling that over, Slavens said.
Also Wednesday, council will consider legislation to permit the county to lease space for law enforcement antennas on a city water tower on Moherman Avenue on the West Side for free.