By JORDYN GRZELEWSKI
Township trustees announced their decision to hire Mark Pitzer, a training instructor for the Boardman Fire Department, as the new fire chief.
Pitzer will replace Chief George Brown when he retires July 28.
Pitzer will start as the interim chief effective immediately. He was one of three candidates considered for the position, all of whom were internal applicants. The board voted 3-0 to approve the hire at its Thursday meeting.
“I think the message overall, for the union and the community, was that [the trustees] wanted to hire an internal candidate for the township and that we want to work with everybody and show the community that we do have people internally who are capable of doing the job for Boardman Township,” said Jason Loree, township administrator. Loree recommended the three candidates to the trustees.
“I wanted to lead this great fire department I work for,” said Pitzer, about why he applied for the position. “I feel throughout the years my involvement with the fire department ... has made me a great candidate for fire chief.”
Pitzer said he does not anticipate any major changes from Brown’s tenure to his own.
“I think we’re going to pick up where we left off with Chief Brown, providing the best fire protection to Boardman residents,” he said.
Pitzer said his top priorities will be training new firefighters and reaching out to other local fire departments.
Pitzer will start with an annual salary of $72,000.
In other action, trustees voted to submit two levy-renewal proposals to the Mahoning County Board of Elections, one for a 2.5-mill general-fund levy renewal and the other for a 0.3-mill road and bridge levy renewal. Each levy will be up for a five-year renewal on the November ballot.
“We are asking the public to continue what they have given us in the past. ... This is no new dollars,” said Trustee Tom Costello. “This allows us to do the things that we do at the township.”
The general-fund renewal levy is expected to generate about $1.9 million annually, and the road and bridge levy renewal is expected to generate $119,000 annually.
The trustees also unanimously voted to award the 2014 Joint Paving contract to Shelly & Sands of Austintown, which entered a bid of $1,592,053. The Joint Paving Program is a project that involves Boardman, Canfield and Austintown townships.
Nineteen miles are set to be paved in the three townships, six of which are in Boardman. Each township will pay for its own portion of the project.
The project will begin at the end of July and should be complete within a month, Loree said.