The Board of the ABC Water District met briefly on Wednesday, Aug. 3 to take another step in the effort to solve flooding problems and prevent unwelcomed annexation, Joint Economic Development District or an income tax.
In the meeting, board members approved a contract with Sands Decker CPS LLC with offices in Columbus, Zanesville and Logan. The company will be handling all the work on the water side of the ABC Water District when it comes to design and engineering.
“They went through the bid process and were the highest scoring,” said Eric Luckage, the district’s attorney.
He said the next step is to approve an engineering firm for the storm water side of the district. Presently, he stated he is in negotiations with a firm and may have something in a future meeting.
Boardman Administrator Jason Loree, who is one of the district’s three board members said eventually, the combined townships of Austintown, Boardman, and Canfield will be in a better position to bring in more funding for projects than on their own, each township may not be able to do.
“We can do more when we work together,” Loree said.
He gave an example of a project such as Indian Run Creek which flows through Canfield into Boardman, dumping out into Mill Creek. Flooding in Canfield Township simply flows into Boardman and makes for flooding there as well. By working together, the two townships can apply for state and federal funds and bring in more to work on a problem like Indian Creek.
The ABC Water District was originally formed to prevent the city of Youngstown from forcing annexation, a JEDD, or an income tax by using water. The issue first arose with the Ohio Supreme Court decision in Bakies vs. Perrysburg in 2004. A township landowner who enjoyed city water from Perrysburg was asked to sign annexation paper or face having his water turned off. The Ohio Supreme Court upheld the city’s right to do so.
In January 2010, after months of discussion, Austintown, Boardman and Canfield Township came together to form the ABC Water District and elect a representative from each community. The district was formed and thus prevented any attempts to use water for annexation. The district is now working towards improving water and storm water run-off issues within the three communities by working together.