Budget proposal maintains Mahoning County landfill checks
By William K. Alcorn
The compromise budget proposed by the Mahoning County Solid Waste District Policy Committee would, if approved, enable the county health department to maintain its landfill monitoring and inspection program.
The budget — which still needs approval Feb. 5 by the policy committee; Youngstown and townships representing at least a combined 60 percent of the county’s population; and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency — proposes providing $390,000 this year and in 2014, and $388,000 each year from 2015 to 2027.
Mahoning County District Board of Health wanted at least $400,000 a year from the MCSWD landfill tipping fees, but Patricia Sweeney, health commissioner, said the lesser amounts proposed will provide budgetary stability through 2027 and “ease of mind that the program will continue.”
Sweeney said the allocation will enable the county health department to continue protecting the public health and safety through its program of monitoring and inspecting the county’s two active and five inactive landfills and testing water wells around the landfills.
She said, it will not be easy, however.
“While it’s a compromise I think we can live with, we will have to look for other sources of money outside of and within the health department,” Sweeney said. “It’s something the health board and the townships we serve value and believe in.”
At its meeting Wednesday, the board also approved increased fees in its food-safety program, effective Feb. 1, and gave a first reading to increase fees for inspection of commercial swimming pools and parks/camping facilities.
Fee rates for commercial and retail food operations increased, for example, from $176.90 to $185.60 for Level I 25,000-square-foot facilities, and from $905.40 to $919.70 for Level IV 25,000-square-foot facilities.
Also, vending operations fees increased from $13.70 to $14.11; mobile operations fees from $114 to $126.50; and temporary operations fees (events) from $76 to $151.25.