By Robert Connelly
Canfield Township trustees heard from ABC Water and Storm Water District officials Tuesday about possibly opening a new water service to southern parts of the township, including a proposed nursing home.
Jason Loree, ABC president, fielded questions on a proposal to add waterlines through available easements through the bike trails of Mill Creek MetroParks and the sanitary lines along Western Reserve Road. Use of existing easements would shorten the time needed to complete the project. Trustee Marie Cartwright said officials initially believed 12 to 18 months would be needed, but using existing easements would narrow that to three to six months.
“Knowing what we know now, it changes things,” Trustee Stephen Maszczak said.
Loree was invited to speak at the meeting after three entities approached him about service: South Range School District; Henry Homestead Facility of Opportunity, a proposed kindergarten-through-fourth-grade special-needs school on state Route 46; and Windsor House.
Windsor House wants to build a nursing home on a site bordered by state Route 46 and Mill Creek MetroParks Farm that would employ 72 to 80 people. The township asked Canfield City to provide water to the facility, but the city demanded that the land be annexed to the city in exchange.
Now, however, Maszczak said, “We really don’t need the city ... [this] could change their position.”
Cartwright said she and township Administrator Keith Rogers met with Canfield Mayor Bernie Kosar Sr., Councilman Don Dragish Jr. and City Manager Joe Warino along with representatives of Windsor House. The city officials said they would provide water only if the township land would eventually be annexed. But trustees still continue to oppose losing land, which could affect their status as a township, Cartwright noted.
Loree addressed funding for the project, saying water customers could help pay for the lines, and a bond is a possibility. Loree also said the water district will explore water services, including Aqua Ohio and the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District.
According to Vindicator files, Aqua and the city of Youngstown signed a non-compete clause in 2011 to prevent Aqua from selling water to ABC.
“But we are buying water on behalf of a district, not an individual person, and we’re not selling it,” Loree said. “We can put the infrastructure in, and it could be Aqua’s water. It’s just how the agreements are set up.”
ABC was formed in 2009 by Austintown, Boardman and Canfield townships. They have been handling storm water for surrounding communities; this is the first pitch for water service, Loree said. Trustees are set to sign off on a resolution today to allow ABC to approach customers.