By Sean Barron
Mahoning County commissioners agreed to vacate three roads as part of a $2 million settlement and release agreement between Springfield Township and a cement and mining company.
In January, Springfield trustees voted to accept the settlement with Essroc Cement Corp. in lieu of reconstructing portions of Western Reserve, Rapp and Donaldson roads.
The township had a 1978 contract with Carbon Limestone Inc., which sold the mining rights to Essroc. Essroc had agreed to rebuild the roads after it ceased mining operations.
Opposing the settlement during the commissioners’ meeting Thursday was Reed Metzka of Columbiana Road, a former township trustee who said he feared that the settlement could allow a nearby landfill to expand. Metzka added he owns property close to the Poland Township landfill.
But Bob Orr, a current Springfield trustee, noted the three roads have had little or no use since 1978. Few homes are in the vicinity; most of the area is used for strip mining, he said.
Michael Heher, manager of the Carbon Limestone land-fill division of Republic Services, explained at a public meeting earlier this month that the Poland landfill’s capacity should last 80 to 100 years. He also noted the landfill does not have the required state permits for expansion.
Heher’s company owns the mining land.
Also at the session, eight students out of 1,371 who submitted entries were named top finishers in an Earth Day place mat contest that stressed the significance of recycling, reusing and reducing waste.
The eight received $25 gift cards, backpacks, gift certificates and plaques for the posters they made for the annual contest, which was sponsored by the Mahoning County Green Team’s recycling division.
The students will have 3,000 prints each of their place mats, which numerous Mahoning County restaurants will use, said Peg Flynn, the recycling division’s environmental educator.