Let the forest support itself

Let the forest support itself

In response to the March 25 article on “easy money” to Poland Village for leasing mineral rights of the Poland Forest and the deed restrictions on the land given by Mrs. Grace Butler in 1934, I offer the following.

Going back, let’s suppose Mrs. Butler was land rich and short on cash. Giving the land, which was mostly bottom land and prone to flooding, would relieve her of the tax burden and still protect her. Adding the deed restriction “that the woods is to be used for park purposes only and kept and preserved in its natural state in so far as possible” would serve that purpose.

Since 1934 we have seen the construction of roads, including Interstate 680, high pressure gas transmission lines, sewer and water lines and a bridges over Yellow Creek. Additional property has been bought and given to the forest and land sold for commercial purposes. This involves many legal questions and lawyers have given their opinions, which can be contested in court at a cost to all.

The village needs the “easy money” to maintain the park and provide funds for the health, safety and welfare of its citizens. The people are taxed out and have defeated tax issues for storm water and schools. The “easy money” could be used for a new dump truck ($100,000) power leaf collection machine ($18,000) flooding problems and improvements to the park to include rest rooms.

The leasing of the mineral rights would not disturb the natural state of the park, nor would I consider it a commercial purpose. The present village budget does not allow for many of these items. The village code 1062.03 states that the forest by the cutting of trees should pay its own way and relieve the taxpayer of the burden and expense of the management of the forest.

Things have changed since 1934. Council should look at the full picture and consider that the “easy money” would benefit all.

F. Gene McCullough, Poland

How did we lose out?

Opportunity does not come often to the Mahoning Valley. How did Mahoning County miss the $900 million gas plant that is going to Hanoverton, Ohio?

Did we not know of it? Did our county officials even try to acquire it? It would have been a real windfall to have gotten this project.

Jim Eidel, Poland