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Suburban residents are under duress; Youngstown is piling on

Published: Fri, March 5, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

Suburban residents are under duress; Youngstown is piling on

The trustees of Austin- town weren’t surprised by Youngstown’s response to the public records request regarding the Feb. 1 increase in water rates.

1. The township was asking for information that justifies water rate increases.

Youngstown’s answer: “There is no public record that meets this request.”

2. Information on strategic plans to replace, repair, and maintain water infrastructure?

Answer: “Same as question No. 1.”

3. An explanation of expenditures of the 40 percent surcharge we have been paying for many years?

Answer: “Same as question no. 1.”

Are the residents of Austintown, Boardman and Canfield being forced to subsidize the cost of water to the residents of the city of Youngstown? Given the residents of these townships pay a 40 percent surcharge for water, and the population within the city is shrinking, are these township residents paying more for water so the city residents can pay less?

4. Details on all grants applied for to replace, repair, maintain the system infrastructure?

Answer: “Same as questions 1, 2, 3.”

When Youngstown announced an 8.75 percent increase in water rates for the next five years, many of us were shocked.

We always understood that the 40 percent surcharge was being spent for the maintenance of the water lines and everything connected.

There are a lot of grant monies and stimulus monies out there if they are filed for properly. It seems as if no one has took the initiative to apply in Youngstown. Everything goes on the backs of the consumers.

The Youngstown Water Dept. did list some projects:

Year 2010:

Shirley Road Line Replacement: $450,000.

Myrtle Avenue Pump Generator: $600,000.

Boardman Water Tank: $3,750,000.

The rest of the repairs or replacements were unknown where they are located. There are 17 other locations at the cost of $27,910,000. Where are they?

Mayor Williams, in a comment in The Vindicator said the law director’s response was incomplete. Oh?

Let’s see what is happening to all of us in the county, the city, Austintown, Boardman and Canfield.

1. Water rates up 8.75 percent.

2. County tax will be on the May ballot.

3. School levies will be on the ballot.

4. Armstrong Cable raises rates.

Insurance premiums increase and pensions are being cut for some. Medical benefits are cut but not the cost of care.

What else will we be asked to give up? Sixty percent of the citizens of Austintown are seniors on fixed incomes. The city of Youngstown and all of the townships are included in these matters. Get in touch with your representatives. Let them know how you feel. Call the mayor of Youngstown.

I know times are tough for all of us. We have tightened our belts so it’s time for the county, city, and townships to also tighten up.



1Silence_Dogood(1422 comments)posted 5 years ago

Boardman Water Tank: $3,750,000

The township of Boredom is not willing to cough up the money it needs for proper police protection and you think they would find the money to replace a water tank? Get real !

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2Nunya(1356 comments)posted 5 years ago

Stop it

It's tough for all of us and nobody likes rate increases and no one single area is being charged more for the service.

The thing is we can't start pointing fingers for services at a township or community. We all use and need the services and if there's an idea or solution.

That's a plausible remedy or workaround that would avert disruption of services and maintain structure. How about us collectively gearing ours thought process's in that direction?

See because a pity party or petulantly pointing fingers won't do anything but leave you dejected and get fingers pointed back that debunks your declaration.

It's a point where like it or not there are costs for repair and maintainable service and the funding isn't going to be given willfully via any measure on a optional " for " or " against " ballot.

So rates were increased that we're ALL paying and include me in the nobody likes it crowd. But to try to carve out some niche that the " Suburbs " are being piled on by Youngstown is ridiculous.

See Youngstown is, has been and will always remain the main body / source hub of all city works. It'd be the same thing had the main hub been Boardman, Salem, Canfield, Austintown or elsewhere.

Thus when the idea of spawning off the hub to skirt from infrastructure cost and taxation to establish annexed communities was and is fine.

However, those utility services are being supplied to you at cost and somebodys going to pay for it and we ALL are.

So this is one of those instances where the plan to branch off but still tap into the resources included you in the cost,..

Where as a result now upon universal rate increase your claim is " Others " and specifically those in Youngstown should foot " your " bill because you live in a subdivision that requires city works,.. NO!

See also last I checked neither your, my nor anyone else's " Cable ", insurance rates, premiums, coverage or any other personal choice amenity are neither utility nor infrastructure related.

In fact none of them was nor are they in anyway associated with a single portion or provision of Youngstown city works,.. AT ALL !

So lets be more sensible and considerate as we all try to get through theses trying times. Which won't make it any easier on anybody by any of us trying fabricate a false case of blame.

On neither one neighbor or the other cynically citing " Them " as any cause of your cost of standard of life choices.

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3SemperTyrannis(49 comments)posted 5 years ago

Why would the suburbs complain about having to subsidize the city? After all, the federal government helped subsidize the creation of the suburbs in the first place.

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4AtownParent(564 comments)posted 5 years ago

Oh come on people. The minute someone from the suburbs is peeved because of what the YO is doing they immediately go into attack mode instead of actually looking at the issues. I have seen many times in my life in this area, 10 water department guys standing around a hole while one guy fixes things. Is this the proper use of funds? Nope. And yet there is never an internal audit of the department to see if it is functioning efficiently. The courts, the police and fire, everyone else has made concessions and gone over their budgets with a fine tooth comb, everyone but the water department. Does that seem right?

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