By Robert Connelly
Trustees discussed property nuisances and heard from a resident about fireworks at their meeting Monday afternoon at Austintown’s Senior Center.
Zoning inspector Darren Crivelli and trustee Lisa Oles combined to list about 60 properties that violated township ordinances. Tall grass and assorted junk in their yards were the most- common violations. Crivelli said they had about 50 properties at the time of their last meeting, and township crews can cut about two or three properties a day; homeowners or property owners are billed $500 on their taxes. If the property is abandoned, a lien is put on the property so the township can be reimbursed.
Holton Inc. of Lordstown was approved to demolish two homes. Those are 2624 S. Canfield-Niles Road, at a cost of $4,200, and 4949 Fitzgerald Ave., at a cost of $21,000. Crivelli explained that the Fitzgerald Avenue house had a fire more than three months ago, and the fire inspector determined the house was unsafe to enter to remove asbestos. Crivelli said that means they are “treating the whole house as asbestos-filled.”
The township will be reimbursed the $21,000 through insurance companies.
Jim Henshaw, director of the Senior Center, said it has seen 72 visitors a day compared with 52 this time last year. He added that those visitors take part in 98 activities a day, from bingo to card games, among other activities. “It’s refreshing to see that, and we are still seeing about a person or two a day” who are new visitors, Henshaw said.
During the public-comment section, a resident of Spring Meadow Circle asked for assistance with neighbors who block off the street and shoot fireworks that hit roofs or garages of residences, leaving damage. Fire Chief Andy Frost explained that it is legal to buy fireworks in the state but not legal to shoot them off. He also said that the fire department as well as the police department can increase patrols in those areas to deter people from setting off fireworks.
“We just ask them to stop ... ask them to take care of it on their own,” Frost said. If that doesn’t work and they keep getting called out, authorities confiscate the fireworks and destroy them.
Ron Borngesser updated township officials on the progress of the Habitat for Humanity house being built for Marine James Skok on New Road, which will have the outside completed by this weekend. He also said that Austintown is looking into building another veteran’s home in the township and elsewhere in Mahoning County in the future.
“What I’m trying to do is get every town in Mahoning County a home for a veteran,” Borngesser said.