During the Monday, Sept. 14 meeting of the Austintown Board of Trustees, residents voiced concern over traffic and drivers speeding through their residential neighborhoods. A Birchcrest Drive resident brought it to the attention of the board that along with Birchcrest, South Idlewood and Dehoff have been burdened with unsafe traffic from drivers trying to avoid Mahoning Avenue. The board was reminded that accidents have already occurred in the neighborhood and residents are worried about the safety of the children living on those streets.
Board members shared their concern and turned to the Police Department for options in correcting the problem. Police Chief Robert Gavalier explained that in an effort to resolve the issue the department has plans to implement a speed control device in the area and patrol the area for traffic control purposes.
On the agenda for the evening, Gavalier reported that the department has received a $29,500 grant for Austintown’s Drug Prevention Program. Gavalier gave credit to Officer Jeff Toth for his work in obtaining the grant and for his work with the youth of the community. Trustee Warren "Bo" Pritchard congratulated the department stating, “We’ve had a great record for bringing money back to the community in the form of grants.” Pritchard reminded residents that Austintown has benefited from grants obtained by the police, fire and parks department in the past.
Board members voted to reject all bids for the work needed to be completed at the Austintown Township Park’s West 6 recreational fields. Trustee Lisa Oles remarked, “The bids which were open on Aug. 31 were much higher than the township had anticipated.” The fields, which are to be used by the Austintown Little Falcons and the Colts, were acquired by the township with grant money. The township still plans to move forward with the project, however they are looking for other options to complete the necessary work to make the property usable.
In other business:
• Jim Meyers of Austintown Metal Works was recognized by Park Supervisor Joyce Gottron for his donation of materials and service to the community for the completion of the Township Park entrance sign.
• Pat Connolly and the entire 911 Memorial committee was recognized for their work in preparing the park for this past week's memorial service.
• Trustee David Ditzler reminded residents that the Austintown Fitch Hall of Fame induction and Banquet is approaching. Ditzler remarked, “Last year’s event was great.” Anyone interested in attending should contact Tim Kelty at the high school.