Trumbull County governments form cooperative council
Twenty Trumbull County townships and cities established a council of governments on Wednesday, which will allow them to pool certain resources such as road equipment and apply for more grants.
“The council of governments is the way elected officials can best serve their constituents in an economically and fiscally responsible way. It’s a way of sharing services with other members. They can share without penalty,” said James LaPolla, a Howland Township trustee.
For example, if one local government needs to use a vehicle for a ditch project, it can request the vehicle from another government within the council. In return, the other community can request personnel when its shorthanded.
The move will help local governments in Trumbull County save money, LaPolla said.
Participating are the cities of Hubbard, Newton Falls, Niles and Warren; and the townships of Bazetta, Bloomfield, Braceville, Champion, Farmington, Gustavus, Hartford, Howland, Hubbard Township, Kinsman, Liberty, Mecca, Mesopotamia, Southington, Warren Township and Weathersfield.
Representatives from the local governments met at the Howland Township Administration building and established LaPolla as the chairman and Ted Webb, a Bazetta trustee, and Gary Lees, a Brookfield trustee, as vice chairmen. A fiscal officer is still to be nominated at the next meeting March 28.
“I’m very optimistic in its success. We need to save money, provide better service at a better economic level, and that’s important right now, especially with state cuts,” LaPolla said.
Certain county offices, such as the Trumbull County engineer, may also be part of the council.
Webb said the council will form committees to tackle different issues, but it’s too early to say what committees will be formed.
“The COG gives us a little bit of latitude to take on some projects or get help from the Trumbull County Engineer’s office or the neighboring community, where we can share equipment or manpower and get something done in the townships or small villages that traditionally couldn’t afford to do it,” Webb said. “This first year will be critical.”
Entities must pass resolutions at their local government meetings in order to have voting power in the council.