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Trustees stop rumors, listen to school crossing complaints

September 25, 2013
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

Austintown Township trustees heard from a concerned residents regarding safety around the schools. Resident Dale Basista said he is concerned about speeding and certain intersections.

Basista's main complaint was around the new schools. He said people are speeding down Idaho Road amidst children being dropped off and construction equipment moving about.

"I experienced this first hand and was appalled at what I saw," he told trustees.

He asked if the police department could station a cruiser on Idaho Road to deal with the speeders who are ignoring the speed limit and school zone lights. Police Chief Bob Gavalier said he did pay overtime for a cruiser to work Idaho during the first two weeks of school.

"We step up enforcement for a time and as soon as we leave, speeding returns," he told Basista.

Gavalier said he will meet with the school police officers and have them observe the traffic to see if it warrants paying overtime to be there again.

Also speaking on the safety issue was resident Jim Sobien. He was concerned over the Burkey-Raccoon Road intersection.

"We need a crossing guard there," said Sobien. "There has already been a child hit there."

Gavalier said the incident involved a child who ran between stopped cars about 200 yards from the intersection. He said a crossing guard would not have made the difference. He also said it is not a service that his department can handle, but would be up to the Board of Education.

Under comments, Trustee Lisa Oles addressed an issue that has been circulating on fliers indicating that the present trustees don't get along with department heads.

"The campaign literature circulating about the bad relationship between trustees and department heads is not true," she said.

One of the circulars is also stating that a candidate, once elected, will pay off the $850,000 loan the township took out for a new radio system. Oles said the present board of trustees has already stated that the first $1 million from the racino will be used to do that very thing. She said that had been the plan all along.

Chairman Jim Davis said, "I try to keep politics out of Township Hall, but Lisa spoke about items that have surfaced on fliers that are misleading."

Davis said the best way for residents to get a good picture of the candidates is to attend Candidates Night on Thursday, Oct. 10 where they can ask questions and hear the answers.

In other business:

Davis congratulated the Austintown Little Colt cheerleaders for winning first, second, and third at the cheerleader's Super Bowl at Fitch recently.

Trustees approved increasing the road fund by $440,000 to $1,828,832.93 for the 2013 road paving program. Administrator Mike Dockry reported the road resurfacing program should be wrapped up by the end of the week and it should fall under budget.

Oles mentioned there was talk of the Mahoning County Health Department and the Youngstown Health Department merging. A meeting was held recently and Oles was one of three township trustees attending. She asked for proof that combining forces would indeed save money and not diminish services.



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