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Trustees get first million from racino

November 21, 2013
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

Austintown Township Trustee Lisa Oles made a special announcement at the Nov. 12 meeting. She said the first $1,000,000 check had been received from the Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course.

"We will be paying off the $850,000 loan we took out for our new radio system," she said.

The radio system was upgraded through a partnership with Boardman. The police and fire are now working off the new system, but to get it and meet the new FCC regulations, the township had to take out a loan. With the million-dollar check, that loan can be paid in full.

Chairman Jim Davis said a vote of thanks goes out to Sen. Joe Schiavone and Rep. Ron Gerberry, who had both negotiated the payments to the township in the racino legislation.

"Had it not been for them, Austintown Township would have been an afterthought," Davis said.

With the loan payoff, the township will have $150,000 left. Davis said that money is presently in a holding pattern.

"We need to be good stewards and decide what is the best use for it," he said. "We are looking at issues dealing with the racino and race track."

He said the money could be used for additional police and fire personnel or even to deal with road wear. The township will be receiving another $1 million next year, then will receive $500,000 per year after that for as long as the racino is open.

Davis did say the state racing commission is causing some problems. They are now saying the 760 stalls originally agreed upon is not enough, according to information Davis received.

"The commission is trying to put another loophole in it," Davis said. "If need be, Darren [Crivelli] and I will be heading back to Columbus to stand up for the racino again."

Turning to other big issues, all three trustees congratulated the Fitch Falcons football team for the great season they are having as they strive for a trip to state and possible championship. Davis showed his loyalty by wearing a T-shirt that said "Perfection" on it.

In other business:

Senior Center Director Jim Henshaw announced the center is close to 1,200 members and the recent spinning classes that were started one week ago have already run out of bikes.

Park Department Director Todd Shaffer announced the park will again be doing Christmas tree recycling through Jan. 2. He also mentioned that Walmart has donated 170 pumpkin carving kits to the park to be used at next year's Halloween events.

Trustees approved declaring nuisance vehicles at 4247 New Road and 2957 Collingwood Place.

Road Department Director Mike Dockry said the Idaho Road sidewalk project will be done shortly and he announced the Issue I Leharps Road project had received 73 points and if it is not funded, it should make a bubble project that would be funded in the next round.



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