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Boardman Trustees: Officials hear residents’ concerns

Published: Tue, July 17, 2012 @ 12:05 a.m.

By Ashley Luthern



Township residents asked trustees Monday to address their concerns about two issues: a possible township-operated ambulance system and the Youngstown and Southern Railroad.

Terry Groubert questioned why the board was researching ambulance services, particularly a township-run service.

“What’s the driving factor? ... I just see you coming back and wanting more tax dollars,” she said.

Trustee Chairman Brad Calhoun said the issue came into the spotlight recently because the board formally needed to give Fire Chief George Brown the authority to evaluate options for emergency medical service.

The options being researched include a township-run EMS ambulance service, a public-private partnership or a contract with a single private EMS provider, he said.

“We told [Brown] that we cannot provide additional money for it,” Calhoun said.

Still Groubert, who read the fire department’s 2009 proposal for a township-run service online, wasn’t convinced.

“I think the service works now,” Groubert said.

Trustee Larry Moliterno said that the process will take time and that there will be opportunities for public input.

“Before any changes are made, we will have public hearings,” he said.

Also during public comment, Billie Nelson asked trustees to install a flashing light at the Southern Boulevard and Maple Avenue railroad crossing and said residents of Walnut Street had circulated a petition supporting the light.

Road Superintendent Larry Wilson suggested she take petition to the Mahoning County Engineer’s Office, which maintains Southern Boulevard.

Nelson added she is concerned about the sale of the 36-mile rail line from the Columbiana Port Authority to Tervita, a Canadian environmental and energy- services company. She said the rail and surrounding easements need improved, and her neighborhood worries about what will be hauled and at what speed.

Trustee Thomas Costello advised her to continue contacting her state and federal representatives. Boardman officials are opposed to the sale, and they and residents historically have been vocal about problems along the rail line, especially litter.

Finally, trustees were expected to discuss a temporary moratorium on transient vendor permits, but said they have referred the matter to legal counsel and will discuss it when they hear back.

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