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A business operated on Youngstown-owned land without paying rent for seven years

Published: Tue, November 19, 2013 @ 12:05 a.m.


Business to relocate; back-rent settlement will be negotiated

By David Skolnick



A.P. O’Horo has operated a gravel-making facility on city-owned property for seven years without a lease and without paying rent.

Furthermore, the property is zoned residential and institutional.

After city officials learned this about six months ago, they started talking with the business owners about relocating the facility somewhere else in Youngstown and figuring out how much O’Horo owes in back rent.

O’Horo hasn’t crushed construction material, including concrete, at his industrial aggregate processing facility at that Albert Street location for six to eight months, according to Mayor Charles Sammarone. It has until Dec. 1 to leave the property or “an eviction action may be initiated against it,” said city Law Director Anthony Farris.

The city has “reached a tentative understanding” with O’Horo to relocate the aggregate processing operation to the former YBM Corp. site on Logan Avenue and Hubbard Road; that site has been vacant since 1989, Farris said.

City council is being asked by Sammarone to approve legislation at its Wednesday meeting to permit the board of control to negotiate and enter into an agreement to sell four acres of the former YBM site to O’Horo for about $40,000, come to a settlement on the back rent, and possibly buy the gravel at the Albert Street property to be used by the city for excavation backfill for sewer repairs.

O’Horo operated an aggregate processing plant on Oak Hill Avenue for years on property partly owned by the company and the city until city officials forced a move by not renewing the lease there because of noise and zoning issues, Farris and Sammarone said.

O’Horo was paying $2,100 a year to the city for the Oak Hill location, which was smaller than the land on Albert Street, and only a portion is owned by the city, Farris said.

“It ended up on Albert Street with no lease and not zoned” properly, Farris said.

Sammarone and Farris said they don’t know why the city’s economic development office, which found the Albert Street location for O’Horo seven years ago, failed to enter into a lease agreement and why no rent was ever paid.

“It was wrong, we found out and we’ve corrected it,” Sammarone said.

Attempts to reach Daniel J. O’Horo, the company’s chairman, on Monday by The Vindicator were unsuccessful.

“Dec. 1 is the deadline,” Sammarone said. “This is not new. They knew it was coming.”

Besides the gravel that the city is interested in purchasing, the property also includes a loader machine that crushes the construction material and turns it into gravel, Sammarone said. It shouldn’t be difficult to move the machine, he said.

“We’re working out a plan to solve the problem,” Sammarone said. “They seem reasonable and it will be resolved. I don’t want to drive business out of the city. We want to keep the company, but they can’t stay there.”

The noise and dust problems at O’Horo’s business on Albert Street started when it opened, said city Councilwoman Annie Gillam, D-1st, who represents that area, and received numerous complaints from constituents about the plant since then.

After discussions on the problems with the company, Gillam said the processing work at night stopped about three years ago.

The dust issue was largely resolved afterwards when O’Horo agreed to water down the concrete when it was being processed, she said.

Gillam said she dealt directly with O’Horo before finally bringing the problem to the attention of the city’s code-enforcement department about a year ago.

That led to the agreement to have O’Horo move.

“I figured I could talk to them and they’d do the right thing,” Gillam said of O’Horo. “They’d stop for a while. We’d get results sometimes. But they just weren’t listening, like a lot of businesses. They’d promise to do a lot of things, but then they” wouldn’t follow through.

“It’s that attitude that they could do anything they want.”

If O’Horo moves to the former YBM site, it would be the first business on that 9.31-acre site since YBM, a ready-mix concrete company, left in 1989.

The site had asbestos removed and a building demolished in 2009 at a cost of about $1.1 million with $854,935 coming from a state grant and the rest coming from the city.


1NoBS(2827 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

That's how Annie does her job? She knows about the business and has stopped there to address complaints, but never notices it's illegally on city property. She should be thrown out of city council.

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2republicanRick(1736 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

The former YBM property could be prime industrial property. Selling off a good portion of it for only $ 40,000 for a concrete crushing operation with about 5 employees?

This shows an utter lack of planning and forecasting by a city run by idiots.

A concrete crushing operation belongs on the outer fringes of the city in a more desolate area, NOT in the middle of future prime industrial property, IDIOTS, IDIOTS when does the madness end with this disfunctional management.

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3republicanRick(1736 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Another thing Youngstown idiots, if you want to let O Horo crush the concrete for a short period of time before the land is re-developed, LEASE it to them on a short term basis. Don't sell it to them for a measly $ 40,000, retain ownership and control over a piece of land that could be strategic in the future.

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4redvert(2240 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

All right already, enough of this, the libitards have done a great job running ytown for the last 50-60 years. What more could you want.........?

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5ytownsteelman(680 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Lanacek, the amount of money spent cleaning up property has no relationship to the fair market value of said property. This is a common misconception, that by spending a bunch of money on something that its value has to rise. Removing the buildings and contamination just gets the land back to zero and its value then reflects all other vacant industrial land in the area.

$10,000 an acre in that part of Youngstown is probably close to the FMV of that land. Since the city did not pay for much of the cleanup anyways, they will not be taking much of a hit.

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6redeye1(5663 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Yeah GDOG I look around this area and boy is it prospering NOT!! Oh wait, yes it is now, we have more people on welfare then ever before.. But I know in your eyes that is prospering. As the saying goes the only people who voted for the demoncrats are the uneducated and or the leeches of society.What which one are you?

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7michael1757(490 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

You want me to pay rent,on a property where,I don't have a lease,or contract? Have you lost your mind.Such & such said I could stay there rent free.Of course S&S is dead,& can't comment,but it's y-town,so,for a friend,hell,it's probably true.You throw me out,want me to pay rent,then sell you what you need.Of course that's going to cost a little extra.Doncha get it? One hand washes the other,or aren't you from this town?

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8republicanRick(1736 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

gdog, you add nothing to these blogs. Please take your bitter attitudes and idiot comments back to your woefully pitiful and lonely life.

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9Silence_Dogood(1675 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Bet he wishes he made a campaign donation now, if he had no one would be reading this now.

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10DwightK(1537 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

So Annie Gillam knew and didn't deal with the problem properly.

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11southsidedave(5199 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

This story should not surprise anyone...and is one reason the city is in desperate straits.

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12YtownParent(1069 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Since they squatted on city property rent free for so long, I want to know what else they didn't pay for. Whose name is the water service in and when was the last time that bill was paid, if ever.

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13BenitaDrugs(42 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Hey gdog congrats man, just saw this article on theonion.com about you.

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14redeye1(5663 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

You know what's really funny " The poor kept voting for the demoncrats over the last 50 years and guess what they are still poor! This is what you get when you have liberturds in every office of Gov't.. Thugstown will never change!!!!!!!!!

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15republicanRick(1736 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Move them across the street and tell Ohoro to tear down what's left of the Aeroquip plant and use that acreage.

Aeroquip, in 1983, gave the city the property. It has sat vacant for 30 years now. Except for a fire about 15 years ago that gutted part of the building, NOTHING has been done there.

Utter incompetence by city leaders, past and present. Hopefully McNally does something constructive where past mayors just sat on their thumbs and waited for miracles.

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16questionreality(736 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Mr. O'Horo is Vice-Chair of the Mahoning County Planning Commission and he did not know how the property was zoned???? Even if his son is running the business he still has a hand in it. Amazing how the city "just found out" (were they like Rip Van Winkle and just wake up?")

It is a shame that the Vice-Chair has been so negligent. The county commissioners should have him removed from the spot.

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17taxme(361 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

You can't make this stuff up! Only in Youngstown.

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18taxme(361 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Not to change the subject but we've been talking about the gas boom here for years. I see no jobs yet! Is this really going to happen?

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19DeAngelis(5 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Dan O'Horo is an honorable person, I have know him for 65 years. He will do the right thing.

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20Askmeificare(1229 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

At commoncitizen:

"How long could O'Horo stay and claim "eminent domain"???"

Haha!!! That is a great comment :)

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