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Board of health cuts to hurt township

March 14, 2012
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

Austintown Trustees heard from a representative of the Mahoning County Board of Health at Monday's regular meeting. The topic of the talk concerned an upcoming cut in the department's budget.

Board of Health representative Mary Helen Smith informed trustees that the department is being cut by $100,000 for 2012, which may have an affect on nuisance properties in the township.

"It will affect our inspection program and our ground water monitoring," Smith told trustees. "We won't be able to continue that level of service."

Township Zoning Inspector Darren Crivelli said the issue is important for his department. He said the Board of Health has been an important part of dealing with nuisance properties.

"Since I became zoning inspector, over 30 nuisance properties have been demolished," he said. "The Board of Health and their process have made this possible."

Smith requested that when trustees are presented with the county budget for ratification, that they don't ratify if it doesn't include the funding."

Smith and two other Board of Health personnel stuck around after addressing trustees. They listened carefully to a complaint about a residence on Crum Road that was part of the monthly zoning report.

The property at 4169 Crum Road was approved for the removal of two vehicles and junk items scattered about the property. In a report from a resident of the street, a complaint was presented about the present resident running a generator all night long. The report said the resident doesn't have utilities in the home and is using the generator for power needs.

Crivelli said there are no laws in Ohio that say a resident has to have electric and gas utility service. He said if they choose to live without it, they have that right. On the issue of water and sewer, there are requirements that have to be met and the Board of Health can step in in that regard.

As for the vehicles, Crivelli said they will receive notice and will have 14 days to remove the vehicles. If that is not done, the township will then have the right to have them towed. As to the junk and debris, notice will also be given and the residents will have seven days to deal with the problem.

Also included in the public nuisance vehicles was an inoperable and wrecked vehicle at 3179 Meanderwood Drive.

Other nuisance properties in the passed resolution included 5617 Stanford Ave., and 207 Parkgate Ave.

On a brighter note, Crivelli told trustees that he has issued 14 permits for new construction so far in 2012. The value is $460,000 with the largest permit going to Autozone, which is doubling its size.

In other business:

* Trustees gave approval to the Austintown Historical Society to serve refreshments during the Summer Concert Series in the Park.

* Trustees approved the 2012 recycling site agreement with the Mahoning County Board of Commissioners for the Recycling Division of the county.

* Trustees heard a complaint about backyard flooding on Woodhurst. A resident asked the township to bring in a backhoe and ease the flow of storm water. Township administrator Mike Dockry said he would look into it.

* Trsutees wished everyone a Happy Saint Patrick's Day and Trustee Jim Davis mentioned that O'Donold's will again be having its traditional party that has become the largest in Ohio. He said roughly 60,000 people attend the event and the pub owners have hired taxi cabs to ensure people get home safely.



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