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Annexation tops city discussion

February 13, 2014
By J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

At the Feb. 5 Canfield City Council meeting, a discussion over an annexation issue took place during public comment. Speaking on the issue was Atty. John Masternick speaking on Windsor House, who wants to build on property on Ohio 446 between U.S. 62 and the bike trail.

Earlier in the week, Mahoning County Commissioners held a meeting on the annexation issue. Masternick wanted to annex into the city to gain water and sewer for a planned nursing home, but the issue took a different turn.

"I am concerned the process could take a great deal of time, no matter how commissioners' rule," he told council members.

The commissioners have 30 days to render a decision, but it is expected to be a no. City Attorney Mark Fortunato explained the situation. He said for a property to be annexed, there must be continuity of property, in other words, the property must border existing city property. At present, the question is the ownership of Ohio 446. The problem is the property the state route is on, is not city. That means there is a gap that will prevent annexation.

"Ohio owns the roadway and there are title issues," Fortunato said.

He also mentioned that the city had agreed to provide water and sewer once the property was annexed, but without the annexation, the city's policy has always been not to provide water and sewer to property not in the city.

"The county has asked the city to form a JEDD (Joint Economic Development District) with the township, but we would be providing all the services," Fortunato said.

Council did not make any decision on the matter, but councilmen Steve Rogers and Mayor Bernie Kosar both told Masternick they wanted Windsor House in the community.

Also speaking was Canfield city resident John Deliman who urged council to enter an agreement with the township and not to wait the 30 days.

New council member Don Dragish Jr. said, "I've known of Windsor House for years. Bringing that to this community would be a good thing."

On a different matter, City Manager Joe Warino gave a report on the road salt situation. He said the state purchase allowed for 800 tons of salt with a 20 percent additional.

"We're over that right now," he said. "We've been told we were cut off."

He said in past years, road salt has been as high as $40 per ton. Under the state purchase program, the city has been buying it at $28 per ton with the agreement to purchase 800 tons for the season. The ice and snow storms that have hit the area this winter has caused the agreed amount to be used up. Warino said he is looking into ways to obtain more, but said it would cost $80 per ton if they could even get a timely delivery. He said the city buys from a company that mines the salt from under Lake Erie.

In other business:

* Council approved a resolution supporting an issue on the May ballot dealing with continued funding for the Ohio Public Works Commission.

* Council held the first reading of an ordinance amending the city's sign ordinance.

* Kosar gave the Mayor's report for January that included a gross income of $9,211.11 of which the city nets $7,523.11.



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