Boardman eyesore to be demolished

By Peter H. Milliken


A Boardman motel that has been boarded up for nearly 10 years and decried by neighbors as a trouble spot and an eyesore finally is going to be demolished.

On Friday, the Mahoning County commissioners awarded the $24,800 demolition contract to ProQuality Land Development Inc. of Campbell.

The 6,458-square-foot Market Street motel was built in 1957 and boarded up in November 2003 after it was declared a public nuisance.

Police and firefighters were summoned there 45 times in the first 10 months of 2003 for complaints ranging from theft to robbery to drug abuse.

In September 2003, police raided the motel and arrested six people on several charges, including drug trafficking.

Anna DeAscentis, a budget specialist in the commissioners’ office, said the demolition is being funded by federal Community Development Block Grant funds and that the site may become a mini- park after the motel is razed. “We look forward to getting that torn down before summer,” she said.

“This will be an enhancement to that main corridor,” Carol Rimedio-Righetti, chairwoman of the commissioners, said of the demolition.

In other action Friday, the commissioners promoted Lou Vega from interim county recycling director to recycling director but kept him at his $61,800 annual salary, the same as the departing salary of his predecessor, Jim Petuch, who retired at the end of 2012.

A graduate of East High School, Vega has an associate degree from the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts and has about a year to go in pursuit of his bachelor’s degree in computer science from Youngstown State University.

Vega joined the county in December 1993 as a 911 emergency dispatcher, and later served as a 911 supervisor and data-system coordinator. He then joined the county’s recycling division 14 years ago, serving as a waste-management specialist, statistician and operations administrator before becoming interim director and director.

The recycling division, also known as the Green Team, has a staff of nine and a $2.4 million annual budget derived primarily from landfill dumping fees. Vega said his goal is to make more use of social media to promote recycling. “We just started our Twitter page. We’re looking to integrate that with our Facebook page,” he said.

The commissioners also bought $38,178 worth of radio-repeater equipment from Motorola Solutions for installation on a Knox Street radio tower to improve emergency-responder communications in low-lying areas of Lowellville and Poland Township along the Mahoning River.

The commissioners accepted a $49,508 grant from the Ohio Department of Public Safety for the county sheriff’s department for overtime for high visibility anti-speeding enforcement this year.

The three-member panel also issued a proclamation in recognition of Friday’s Mahoning-Youngstown Community Action Partnership Awareness Day, which is the anti-poverty program observed at Wick Park.

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