Wednesday, September 5, 2018
By Jessica Hardin
Village council discussed flood plans and tumult on the Forest Board at its Tuesday meeting.
After hearing accounts of flood damage by residents of Water Street at the previous council meeting, Mayor Tim Sicafuse agreed to organize a meeting between affected residents and elected officials. This meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Monday. State Rep. John Boccieri of Poland, D-59th, and State Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, D-33rd are expected to attend.
Also in response to the previous council meeting, Sicafuse invited Jason Loree, Boardman Township administrator, to present Boardman’s approach to preparing for heavy storms and preventing flooding.
Loree has been working to create ABC Water and Stormwater Water District, which is a strategic partnership of Austintown, Boardman and Canfield townships, to improve storm water infrastructure.
Residents and business owners in these communities pay a utility fee based on the amount of nonpervasive surface on their property. The money funds storm water projects.
“You can made big impacts by leveraging your dollars and looking at the watershed and then making those decisions,“ Loree said.
Council also discussed transitions on the Forest Board, which has been scrutinized after two board members resigned this summer.
The board’s Aug. 28 meeting lasted three hours. Community members criticized the board for its “lack of connection with residents.”
Sicafuse appointed Ian Renne to fill the board seat vacated by Beth Queen. All council members except Sam Moffie voted in favor of the appointment. Chris Graff was appointed to fill Frank Krygowski’s vacated seat at council’s Aug. 7 meeting.
Renne is a professor of ecology at Youngstown State University, who specializes in invasive species and factors that affect ecological diversity.
Board Chairwoman Elinor Zedaker, who has previously worked with Renne, said to him at the meeting, “I marveled at the amount of knowledge you have. Some of it went right over my head, but I appreciated that which I could catch at the time, and I look forward to learning more.”
Renne added he’s aware he’s entering a fraught situation. “I don’t live in a cave. I realize there’s contention on a lot of issues at the board. What I can do is bring science to it.”