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County services change due to budget cuts

October 30, 2013
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

Austintown trustees set aside time for Mahoning County Health Commissioner Pat Sweeney to speak during Monday's township meeting. She informed trustees and residents that services will be cut back in the county due to a loss of revenue.

"With the close of the central landfill [at the Solid Waste Management District], we will have a $600,000 shortfall," Sweeney said. "I am here to let the township know that some programs will see a reduction. There is no way to provide services to the extent we have in the past."

She said the budget reduction will take away close to 42 percent of her budget, or roughly $90,000. It would affect the solid waste and nuisance complaints her department handles. She said one agent who handled those complaints would have to be removed and that could cause lag time in responding to complaints.

Trustee Lisa Oles asked Sweeney about the idea to combine Youngstown City's health department with the county. Her concern was over losing a county office that has been operating out of the township for some time. Sweeney told Oles the intent is to stay put.

"The talks with Youngstown haven't moved forward at this point," she said. "We have no intentions of leaving Austintown, and even if we did join forces with Youngstown, we would still need this location."

Another guest scheduled to address trustees was Jennifer Pemberton, tri-chair of the Austintown Relay for Life. She informed trustees that there would be a new location for the event on June 13-14 next year.

"We will be moving the Relay for Life to Township Park," she said. "We have officially signed the contract and are set to go."

She said to kick off the new Relay season, two events are scheduled. The first is "a fundraiser to fight cancer" pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3 at Austintown Community Church. The second event is a community give-back at Ruby Tuesday from Nov. 22 to 24 when 20 percent of a purchase will go to the American Cancer Society.

On a different issue, trustees passed a motion to request a hearing on a new liquor permit for Hotel California Inc., doing business as Economy Inn and Suites, 1051 North Canfield-Niles Road. The motion came after police Chief Bob Gavalier spoke against the permit.

"Due to past practices of the person applying for this permit, I would like to object," Gavalier said.

The property involved in the permit was said to be the prior Go Go Cabaret that was shut down by the Mahoning County Drug Task Force.

In other business:

Trustees approved four new high grass nuisance complaints and one junk vehicle nuisance.

Gavalier mentioned his department has applied for a grant for $7,750 to replace police officer vests.



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