Austintown trustees approved the hiring of a full-time firefighter at Monday's township meeting. According to fire Chief Andrew Frost III, the hiring was a replacement for Andrew Frost Jr. who retired last year.
"It has taken awhile to move everyone one up the ladder and create an opening for a full-time firefighter," Frost said.
Taking the oath of office Monday was Fred Marcum, who has been a part-time firefighter in Austintown since 1997. He got on the department the year after he graduated from Fitch.
Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Firefighter Fred Marcum received the oath of office from Austintown Fiscal Officer Laura Wolfe at Monday’s trustee meeting. His hiring helps maintain a level of 51 firefighters in the township.
While serving as part-time firefighter, Marcum ran his own business, KO Lawncare. When he heard a full-time opening was coming, he was one of four who applied. Frost told trustees Marcum had finished number one on his test.
"We had a difficult time during the interviews because we had four outstanding candidates," said Trustee Lisa Oles.
She said that while the choice was a hard one, Marcum did stand out with as many years of experience as the other three candidates combined.
Chairman Jim Davis said Marcum is a dedicated individual who also serves on the 9/11 committee and is a licensed paramedic. He too, praised Marcum for his devotion to Austintown and agreed with Oles regarding the interviews.
"That was the toughest interview process I've ever sat through," Davis said.
Frost said the hiring of Marcum to full time helps maintain the present 51 firefighters, of which 19 are full time. He said it was the levy voters approved last year that is allowing the department to replace retiring firefighters. He also mentioned that the part-time force will be increased later this year as several probationary recruits finish testing.
Following Marcum's swearing in, a special proclamation was presented to Dylan DuPonty, a Fitch senior and member of Boy Scout Troop 115 out of St. Michael's in Canfield. He was recognized for his Eagle Scout project, which was the construction of a ramp at Hope House to make it safer for children to walk from the house to the playground. DuPonty said it was a steep hill that was somewhat dangerous for small children.
"I got a donation of wood from Home Depot," he said. "I was able to finish the project in two days because a lot was pre-assembled at home."
DuPonty is also a member of the Fitch track team as a pole vaulter.
In other business:
Police Chief Bob Gavalier reported that the three officers who were sworn in earlier this year are wrapping up their required training period will be going out on their own this month.
Oles asked Gavalier about the increased number of suicides in the township. She asked if there was a help line people could call. Gavalier said the Help Hot Line's 2-1-1 number can help people in that situation find the assistance they need. He said the call is private and no one will get into trouble by asking for help.
Chief Frost reported on the house fire that happened on New Road last week. He said the department had to shut down New Road for 20 minutes to get water to the fire trucks and that motorists were understanding. "We apologize for closing the road, but it had to be done to knock the fire down," Frost said.
Zoning Inspector Darren Crivelli reported that the bids are going out to take down five more vacant homes that are unsafe. He said there are two on Ohltown Road, and houses on Nassau Court, Idlewood and Third Street that could be demolished as early as April. He said any township resident can report a vacant home in poor condition by calling the zoning department.
Trustees approved liquor license permits for L J Soges Corp. dba The Beverage Depot, 6300 Mahoning Ave.; Asset and Property Relief LLC dba Ball Busters, 3661 Mahoning Ave.; and Cedar Petroleum LLC dba Wedgewood Shell, 1704 South Raccoon Road.
Trustees approved the 2013 Drug Law Enforcement Grant for the Mahoning Valley Law Enforcement Task Force by setting permanent appropriations at $236,309.71 and setting the revenue budget at $199, 460.66. It was explained that Austintown Township was overseeing the grant for the task force and the budget had nothing to do with township tax funds.
Mike Dockry was appointed as alternate for the Mahoning County Health District for Trustee Jim Davis.
A motion was passed to schedule a public hearing regarding an amendment for Youngstown Propane at 5:30 p.m. April 8, pursuant to the letter of certification from the Austintown Zoning Commission.
Trustees approved moving the March 25 meeting to noon at the Austintown Senior Center.