By Peter H. MILLIKEN
A public hearing will take place at 11 a.m. today in Canfield Township Hall concerning a proposal to annex 18.6 acres from Canfield Township to the city of Canfield for construction of a $10 million, 70-bed Windsor House nursing home.
The vacant land is bounded by state Route 446 on the north and by the Mill Creek MetroParks Farm on its south, east and west sides.
The hearing will be before the Mahoning County commissioners after the commissioners’ 10 a.m. meeting in the township hall, 21 S. Broad St.
The city and township are on opposite sides of the issue, which will be decided by the commissioners.
Joe Warino, Canfield city manager, said he supports the annexation “to bring additional revenues into the city” from the 1 percent city income tax to be paid by 75 to 85 nursing-home employees.
“The facility definitely fits in that area,” Warino said, noting that nearby land is being used for a physician’s office and an auto-body restoration and painting shop.
The nursing-home residents would benefit from proximity to the farm and to the asphalt-paved trail, known as the MetroParks Bikeway, that passes through the farm and is available for walking and bicycling, he said.
“We’re against it. You’re losing property that makes up the township,” said Keith Rogers, township administrator.
The MetroParks administration has no position on the annexation proposal, said Samantha Villella, the park district’s community-engagement director.
John Daliman, corporate counsel for the Girard-based Windsor House Inc. nursing-home and assisted-living chain, said he believes the annexation is critical to the project because it needs public water and sanitary-sewer connections.
The city won’t provide those services to the site unless the land is annexed, said Martha Bushey, a lawyer for John J. Masternick, Windsor House’s president and chief executive officer.
“There’s a need in Canfield for a nursing facility,” Daliman said, adding that Canfield has no nursing homes.