By Sean Barron
Mahoning County commissioners have awarded a contract to an environmental group to mitigate a stream and wetlands area that was disturbed during a recent road-widening project.
Davey Resource Group Inc. of Kent received the $126,885 contract to restore those areas near the Mill Creek MetroParks’ Experimental Farm in Canfield that were impacted when Western Reserve Road between Tippecanoe Road and U.S. Route 62 was widened, noted Marilyn Kenner, chief deputy engineer with the Mahoning County Engineer’s office.
The effort, part of a federal mandate through the Army Corps of Engineers and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, will enhance about 2.4 acres of wetlands and create an additional 1.3 acres.
The project is to include earth work as well as planting trees, seed and shrubbery largely to encourage wildlife, Kenner explained.
The project’s first phase gets under way next month, with plantings to be finished by late November, then work will resume next spring and should wrap up in late June 2013, she said.
Mill Creek MetroParks likely will use the effort for instructional purposes related to educating the public about wetlands and wildilfe, Kenner added.
Also during Thursday’s meeting, commissioners accepted a $49,500 purchasing agreement with Mahoning County Courthouse consultants on the proposed exterior restoration of the 104-year-old downtown courthouse, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The first step for the two consultants, both of whom are retired architects, is to review what’s been done and look at other work to stabilize and improve the building on Market Street, noted Jim Fortunato, the county’s purchasing director.
In 2010, three 15-foot statues were removed from the roof and examined internally and externally as part of a temporary emergency stabilization effort. The figures, with a combined weight of about 2 tons, are being stored off-site until they can be returned to the roof as part of a total courthouse restoration.
The consultants will review proposals outlining what remains to be done to make the building as safe as possible, using borrowed funds for the work as well as bond money, Fortunato explained.
“We want to make sure we’re doing what needs to be done from a historical standpoint,” he said.