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Gains and losses focus of trustees meeting

October 20, 2011
By Richard Sberna
“Easy come, easy go” was the theme of Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Poland Township Board of Trustees.

The Township Police Department was the first example. Police Chief Brian Goodin told the board that Robert Younger, an auxiliary officer who had been appointed at the trustees’ September meeting, informed him that he had accepted a full-time position with the Coitsville Police Department two days before his scheduled swearing-in at Poland Township. At that time, Younger officially rescinded his application with the department. Though surprised, the board unanimously approved termination of his appointment as an auxiliary police officer of Poland Township. Gooding assured the board that another officer recently sworn in, James Sullivan, continues progressing through the program successfully.

Township roads were a similar matter. Administrator Jim Scharville requested the board approve a $41,352 contract with Gennaro Pavers of Lowellville to carry out resurfacing work on Bendemeer Court, Katahdin Drive, Coblentz Drive and Lee Run Road. The board unanimously approved the measure.

Later in the meeting, Richard Hoxworth from Precision Geophysical of Millersburg addressed the board, requesting permission for the company to perform a geophysical seismic survey on Arrel and and Bedford roads in the township. He said the firm already has permission from county officials to perform similar tests on Kennedy, Struthers, New Castle and Hubbard roads.

Hoxworth explained the process involves three large trucks equipped with seismic vibrator pads, which are lowered to the surface and send pulses through the ground below. He said the trucks weigh 57,000 pounds each, prompting trustee Mark Naples to inquire about surety bonds for possible damage to the roads. Hoxworth said they had issued sureties of $10,000 per road on previous surveys. Naples asked what the benefits of such a project would be. Hoxworth replied that the project is part of exploration of the Utica Shale, and that the township could benefit financially if such deposits were discovered.

Scharville told Hoxworth that a $10,000 surety would be inadequate to cover the costs of repairs to township roads and requested a $50,000 bond instead. After Hoxworth replied that would be agreeable to the company, trustees approved a motion allowing the testing, contingent upon acceptance of a $50,000 per road surety from Precision Geophysical.

Also addressing the board was Dolores Bianco of Circle Drive, who made an appeal for the extension of sewer lines to her neighborhood. According to Bianco, the area of Circle Drive, between Duncan Drive and Pueblo Way, is dependent on septic systems. She said her house was constructed in 1954 and she worries that the old septic system is now failing. Bianco said she could not afford the cost of replacing it with a new septic system, and that sewer lines should have been available long ago. “Fifty-seven years is a long time to wait for a sewer line,” she told trustees.

Lidle expressed surprise and stated that this was the first he had heard of the lack of sewer coverage there. Road superintendent Joe Juillerat said that the streets surrounding Circle Drive, to his knowledge, all had sewer lines installed. Naples said that such projects are usually motivated by complaints to the Mahoning County Board of Health. He and Lidle both advised her to contact Gary Diorio of MS Consultants, who advises the township on such matters.

In his report for the Recycling Department, Scharville said the department had received a two-percent increase in funding from the Mahoning County Green Team due to the township’s consistently good recycling numbers. He also announced the upcoming Holiday Gift and Decoration Drop & Shop, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5 at Mauthe Park in Struthers. The event provides an opportunity for people to donate usable holiday decorations and gift items (toys, clothes, books, etc.) while picking up items donated by others, for free. There will also be free coffee, donuts, hot dogs and refreshments provided by Republic Services. Scharville called the event a community service, not just in furnishing holiday items “to anyone in need,” but also as a green initiative.

“It’s better that we recycle all these items than have them put in the landfill,” he said. Those with questions or who would like to volunteer should call the township.

Mike Heher, chairman of the Poland Township Park Board, said that the two recently vacated positions on the board are still vacant. Heher and Scharville said that, between them, they have received three applications for the positions so far. Heher said that the new ball field project remains stalled because the contractor has been busy with other projects. However, the second pavilion in the park is now complete, and seeding will begin around it after the ball field project begins.

Heher said the sled-riding hill is also on hold, but for legal reasons. He said that his proposal for control of the land has received no response from Essroc and that liability issues remain unresolved due to runoff erosion issues at the bottom of the hill. However, Heher said that a cross-country running trail was also in the works, though currently still in the planning stages.

In other business:

* Chief Goodin said that home security checks will be available to township residents for the upcoming holiday season. Those interested should contact the department from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, to schedule patrols.

* Zoning inspector Robert Monus requested $1,200 to replace one of the outdated computer workstations in the zoning office, with plans to replace the other two next year. Lidle asked if it wouldn’t be more efficient and cost-effective to order replacements for all three machines in hopes of getting a deal from the supplier. Naples and trustee Annette Divito agreed and approved the purchase of three computers.


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