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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.


1gdog4766(1255 comments)posted 5 months ago

A company functions on city owned property for seven years rent free and all the city does is basically say please leave and we will help you to leave please. Disgraceful democrats you know what a good republican would say to this company.? Don't worry, here's a tax break, we will bulldoze some homes thru eminent domain so you can expand, that waterway you polluted we will just fill it in, hey my kid needs a job. What! You hire gay people! Why thats disgraceful! What's this? Oh a campaign donation. Good luck in future endeavors.

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2Ianacek(856 comments)posted 5 months ago

How come he's paying only $40,000 for 43% of land that had $1.1 million spent on it ?
There needs to be an outside investigation into Ytown finances & issues like this & the $120 million spent building only 218 low income rentals .

It still seems to be all about "who you know"

You have to laugh at Gillam with her opinion of businesses ... " They’d promise to do a lot of things, but then they wouldn’t follow through" . Pot calling the kettle black , Annie !

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3Sparky(152 comments)posted 5 months ago

Sounds like the dumasscrats had their hands out promising to look the other way.....for 7 years that is. That's how they do things around here. Kind of a coincidence of the timing of discovering this "oversight" you know with a new Mayor coming in and all....

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4UticaShale(847 comments)posted 5 months ago

It's called ineptness, it's call unqualified, it's called leadership from the bottom of the barrel.

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5redvert(2007 comments)posted 5 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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6ytownsteelman(618 comments)posted 5 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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7Not_Gilligans_Ginger(107 comments)posted 5 months ago

This is off topic, but I need to address this issue. Please stop attaching "tard" to things you deem negative. Redvert, today this means you. It's ignorant. Are you so undereducated (everybody who uses it) that you can't think of an alternative word or phrase to express negativity?

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8gdog4766(1255 comments)posted 5 months ago

Yeah redvert, why can't we go back to the days of Reaganism. Remember those days of high pay,great benefits,racial equality, a vibrant economy and more and more. Or when Bush Jr. Was in office, talk about the land of milk and honey. I miss the good old days.

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9Sparky(152 comments)posted 5 months ago

Those days were much much better than anything this country has experienced under Oduma.

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10fudputer(44 comments)posted 5 months ago

well lets see- make this easy--Sammarone and Farris-city economic office employes should pick up all the rent due plus the interest for the last seven years-make someone accountable-turn it over to a D.A. preferbably not a Y-T resident.ta-ta

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11auntiem4cabs(113 comments)posted 5 months ago

Ginger...omgosh, " libitards " is just a term of endearment... Much like "Oduma" and "dumasscrats". Lighten up!!!!! Every sentence, every 'jab' doesn't have to be evaluated. smh

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12Silence_Dogood(1216 comments)posted 5 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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13DwightK(1179 comments)posted 5 months ago

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

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14southsidedave(4709 comments)posted 5 months ago

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

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15YtownParent(250 comments)posted 5 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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16BenitaDrugs(42 comments)posted 5 months ago

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

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17commoncitizen(949 comments)posted 5 months ago

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

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18questionreality(170 comments)posted 5 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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19UticaShale(847 comments)posted 5 months ago

On the corner of Thornhill and Lansdowne sits a pump station owned by the City. No ROW from owner, no rent paid by City, in this case the City is squatting.
The Kettle calling the pot black?

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20Sparky(152 comments)posted 5 months ago

Benita.. Very nice find. So perfect. That must be gdogs male counterpart.

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21gdog4766(1255 comments)posted 5 months ago

Hey you two arsehalls really don't want to lock horns with me. If brains were gas you two would be on the side of the rode trying to flag down cars.

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22Sparky(152 comments)posted 5 months ago

Another dunce post. Please keep it up. Dunce

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23Sparky(152 comments)posted 5 months ago

Blame Kasich because you are a dunce! It's not your fault, it's his!!! You blame everything else on him so why not blame your dunce brain on him!!

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24Sparky(152 comments)posted 5 months ago

Sorry life served you lemons and you let them rot ...that's what underachieving losers do and you blame all others for your failure. You are a has been that never was so why don't you just admit it?

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25eivo(1454 comments)posted 5 months ago

Half the people in Youngstown are freeloading off of government handouts, why not let O'Horo do it too?

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26DeAngelis(5 comments)posted 4 months, 3 weeks 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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27Askmeificare(667 comments)posted 4 months, 2 weeks ago

At commoncitizen:

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

Haha!!! That is a great comment :)

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