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Airport, levy top township trustees' meeting

May 8, 2014
By J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

At the April 28 Austintown Township meeting, trustees heard a request for money to help bring a major airline to the Youngstown area.

Dan Dickten, representing the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport in Vienna addressed the issue of bring in United Airlines to offer service to Chicago. He said there needed to be a guaranteed revenue to attract the airline company.

''United wants a guarantee,'' he said. ''We got a $1.2 million grant to bring them here. They need $1.75 million in a revenue guarantee. At this time we are $230,000 short.''

Article Photos

Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Dan Dickten, representing the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport addressed trustees at the April 28 meeting to request the township put up $22,000 to help bring United Airline service to the area.

Dickten asked trustees to be a player in bringing United to the area. He asked for Austintown to put up $22,000 as their share.

Trustee Lisa Oles asked what would happen if the township did put up the money and the amount needed fell short. Dickten replied the money would go back to the township.

Trustee Jim Davis inquired about the route to Chicago. He asked why other direct routes were not being offered. Dickten replied that major airlines are all operating out of a central hub. He said by flying direct to Chicago, there would be 130 connections available.

After a brief discussion on the matter, trustees decided to table the issue to have time to give thought to it and consider the request.

During public response, a different issue came up as resident Len Parker discussed the levy on May 6 for building a new high school.

''I oppose the levy for the new Fitch,'' he said. ''Keep in mind we have a lot of seniors on fixed incomes in the township. Also passing this levy would hinder passing future levies for police and fire. A high tax is not going to help us proper here in Austintown.''

He asked trustees to consider those things should they be asked to support the levy. Trustees waited until their comment portion of the meeting to respond to Parker's request.

''This is a financial thing,'' said Trustee Ken Carano. ''School buildings don't last past 50 years anymore. By passing the levy now, we will get state funds to pay almost half of the cost of a new high school.''

On the other side, Oles stated Austintown property taxes are high compared to other communities.

''I don't want my property taxes to go up any farther than they are now,'' she said. ''I am also sensitive to the fact that people in the township are struggling to make ends meet. Where does it end? It ends on those things we can vote on.''

She said she has been accused of not being for the kids, to which she replied that she is already funding three new schools, has served on the Falcon Forward committee, and has supported numerous sports teams for kids.

''To make the statement I am not for the children because I am not for the bond levy is just not true,'' she said.

Both Oles and Carano did agree that Austintown residents needed to get out and vote on May 6 and have their voices heard no matter which side of the topic they are on.

On a more agreeable subject, Jennifer Pemberton, co-chair of the Austintown Relay for Life addressed trustees with an update for the 2014 event that will be held on June 13-14 at Austintown Township Park. She said the goal this year is $125,000.

''We already have $30,000 towards the goal and we are well on our way,'' she said.

According to Pemberton, anyone can keep track of the event at

In other business trustees:

* Accepted a memorandum of understanding between Boardman and Canfield townships for the 2014 street repaving program. Township administrator Mike Dockry said by joining together with the neighboring townships, Austintown has buying power that can bring lower prices.

* Approved the property lease agreement between Mahoning County Commissioners for space for recycled drop off containers at a sum of $24,780. Dockry noted the amount is smaller than in past years due to the closing of the Ohltown Road site.

* Approved a liquor permit for Ramri LLC, 870 N. Canfield-Niles Road.

* Declared the following properties as nuisances, and ordered the abatement of such nuisances: 1290 Woodhurst Drive for high grass and weeds, 4446 Mahoning Ave. for a damaged fence, Lot 60 on Norquest Boulevard for plant site obstruction on the northeast corner, 234 S. Main St. for trash and debris throughout the property, 266 First St. for trash, debris and discarded furniture stored throughout the property, and Tract 10 on New Road for large amounts of construction debris.



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