Girard putting bike trails project on front burner

Former Ohio Leatherworks


City officials aim to use the former 27.5-acre Ohio Leatherworks property off North State Street, acquired in 2013, for bike trails to encourage an active lifestyle and bring more visitors to the city.

The Trumbull County Planning Commission released a comprehensive report in 2000 recommending that Girard acquire more greenspace property to use for recreational purposes.

That year, the Girard Bike Trail committee was formed with the hope of creating a bike trail in the city. The city was in fiscal emergency at the time, so the idea had to be put on the back burner.

“But we always thought that once we emerged from fiscal emergency and our fortunes changed positively that this would be a project that would make Girard a better place to live,” Mayor James Melfi said.

For years, the city was in litigation with Ohio Leatherworks but settled with the owner and acquired the property at no cost to the city.

The city is still negotiating with the Ohio Central railroad, seeking to acquire some of its 42-acre crescent-shaped property along the Mahoning River.

Read more about the project in Thursday's Vindicator or on

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