By ROBERT CONNELLY
Canfield’s city manager said many close calls led to few damaged homes and no injuries during this week’s tornado.
Joe Warino said the main topic of Wednesday night’s city council meeting was the EF1 tornado that ripped through Ellsworth and Canfield townships as well as the city of Canfield on Tuesday afternoon.
“A lot of areas where we had near misses ... another 1,000 feet it would have gone through the vocational school,” Warino said of Mahoning County Career and Technical Center on Palmyra Road.
He said city crews were going to assist township crews in the cleanup process for the first time Thursday afternoon.
“I would imagine we’ll continue to work with them as long as we keep up with our work,” Warino said. He added the city hasn’t paid road workers any overtime pay yet as all the work has been able to be done during normal work hours.
Warino said that though there are not enough damaged homes to qualify for funding through the state’s emergency management agency, there has been a mutual-aid offer from the Ohio Department of Transportation for wood chippers during the tree-removal process.
Council unanimously approved a contract between the city and Michael Benza and Associates, Inc., based in Princeville, for the survey, design, and bidding assistance for a waterline project. That project is to replace about 2,600 feet of the city’s 24-inch transmission line that runs parallel to state Route 11.
The contract is not to exceed $47,150. Warino said once that is done, the project will go through the state bidding process, and he is going to apply for funding through the Ohio Public Works Commission and the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Warino said he hopes the city can apply for emergency funding, which both organizations have, to be able to work on the project this winter. The reason the project would be done over the winter is that the city uses less water then and could rely on the smaller 12-inch line during the repair work.
“Hopefully we can argue our case to the severity of the issue” for funding, Warino said.
Council also gave the first reading to an ordinance altering the city’s demolition laws. Warino called it “cleaning up the demolition ordinance” and things that the city had been telling residents to do but were not yet officially part of the ordinance.
Warino gave examples, such as “how to grade the property once its finished and cut the utilities.”
There will be a public hearing on that ordinance at 5:50 p.m. Aug. 20, before council’s next scheduled meeting.