The Mahoning County commissioners approved an $1,875 contract with Bowman Appraisal Services to perform appraisals of lawn areas the county must purchase to install a one-lane roundabout (traffic circle) designed to improve traffic flow and safety at Mathews and Sheridan roads in Boardman.
The entire intersection will close for 60 to 90 days for the installation, which is planned for next summer to minimize the impact on school buses, said Patrick Ginnetti, county engineer at the commissioners’ Thursday meeting.
Ginnetti expressed concern, however, about traffic congestion during that time as bridge work proceeds at the Interstate 680 and U.S. Route 224 interchange. Mathews Road, which goes under I-680, provides one of several available detours during the interchange project by the Ohio Department of Transportation.
When the roundabout is completed, there will be no traffic lights or stop signs in the Mathews-Sheridan intersection.
“It’s a continuous flow of traffic, so there’s not going to be any stoppages,” Ginnetti said. “It encourages the cars to always make continuous right turns to go in a counter-clockwise direction,” he added.
In other matters, commissioners also approved a $352,000 contract with Murphy Contracting Co. of Youngstown to perform three to four months of renovations for a new inmate holding area in the county courthouse, 120 Market St., to improve safety and security and alleviate overcrowding.
The renovations will provide separate holding areas for male and female inmates and more confidentiality for consultations between inmates and their lawyers, said James Fortunato, county purchasing director.
Also, the commissioners hired the Tartan Insurance Agency of Boardman as a $5,000-a-month county employee health-benefit plan consultant to help guide the county as it seeks bids for the plans during the launch of the Affordable Care Act.
The commissioners created a new position of kennel supervisor in the county dog warden’s office, effective Sept. 30.
Richard Tunison, a registered veterinary technician, has been offered the full-time job at $17 an hour, and his employment would bring the dog warden’s office staff to a total of seven employees.
Dog Warden Dianne Fry said the new position is needed to ensure proper sanitation and medication and worming administrations for the dogs, identify needs for veterinary consultations, and coordinate the volunteers who walk the dogs.