Sinkhole fix to be finished in week

By Sean Barron


Emergency repairs to a failed storm sewer in Austintown that collapsed and resulted in a sinkhole should be completed in about a week, Mahoning County Engineer Richard Marsico told county commissioners.

Commissioners entered into an agreement Tuesday with Utility Contracting of Youngstown for the $27,329 project to repair the sewer near Raccoon and Kirk roads. The collapse and resulting sinkhole were discovered about a month ago, Marsico said.

Commissioners also agreed to have the engineer’s office cooperate with the Ohio Department of Transportation regarding a U.S. Route 224 project to include widening Raccoon Road near Route 224 and state Route 11 at no cost.

Studies have gotten under way recently to ascertain what improvements need to be made to the area, Marsico noted. It’s uncertain what direction the project will take until the studies are complete, he added.

In other business, the Mahoning County Green Team approved an agreement with Youngstown to buy and install 19 surveillance cameras at several sites known for illegal dumping.

The $12,000 cost will feature 14 real and five fake cameras intended to deter such dumping and litter, noted Mary Gresh, the Green Team’s operations coordinator.

The cameras should be in place within four months to catch people who illegally discard tires, car seats, water tanks, TVs and numerous other items, she said.

Gresh said her agency also entered into an agreement with the county health board to inspect county landfills and test well water for residents who live close to landfills.

The $400,000 project will include monitoring ground water and ensuring landfills are in compliance with regulations, she continued. That includes protecting residents by making sure materials are contained and covered and that methane gas and liquids won’t leak, Gresh explained.

Also at the session, commissioners agreed to reduce the fee from $50 to $25 for dogs adopted by a rescue organization.

“It’s basically to help dogs down on their luck so as not to euthanize them,” said Matt Ditchey, county dog warden.

Many rescue groups such as Angels for Animals Inc., Canine Crusaders and Northeast Ohio Lab Rescue are filled with animals that are sick and injured but can be rehabilitated and adopted, Ditchey noted, adding that the idea is to save the lives of as many dogs as possible.

Ditchey said he personally intends to help 50 dogs each year by paying the $25 fee on their behalf.

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