Canfield council OKs annexation, guidelines on forgiving water bill late fees

By Graig Graziosi


City council approved two long-debated pieces of legislation during its meeting Wednesday night.

Council approved a resolution that allows for a piece of privately owned land in Canfield township to be annexed into the city.

The group that owns the land, MALA Properties Ltd. of Canfield, filed a petition for annexation in early September. The land – about 22 acres – is within the township limits on Palmyra Road south of U.S. Route 224.

The township trustees initially opposed the plan and filed an objection with the Mahoning County commissioners, arguing the annexation violated the terms of the joint economic development district agreement between the cities. The commissioners have the final authority to approve or deny annexations.

After months of collaboration between city and township officials, an agreement was reached, and the legislation allowing the annexation process to move forward was passed.

The monthslong debate over whether the city should allow situation-specific forgiveness for fees associated with late water bills came also came to an end.

Council voted 3-2 to approve a resolution that will develop guidelines for city Manager Joe Warino to use when determining whether to forgive late fees on water bills contested by citizens.

At the meeting, council members John Morvay and Charles Tieche argued against exceptions to the late fee, pointing out that a five-day grace period offered to residents is more than enough time for citizens to pay their bills. Councilmen Joe LoCicero and Don Dragish Jr. argued for leniency, as did Mayor Bernie Kosar Sr.

Council also acknowledged Finance Director Christine Clayton and the finance staff for receiving the Auditor of State Award for the city’s exemplary bookkeeping.

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