Austintown Township will continue to look better as the township continues to clean up areas and properties that have become nuisances. At last week's township meeting, 65 properties were declared nuisances, most for high grass.
''We have over 100 properties on the radar now,'' said zoning inspector Darren Crivelli.
He said the first step after a property is declared a nuisance is to send a registered letter to the owner. It gives them a short time to take care of the issue themselves. If they don't, the township will send a crew out to cut high grass, remove debris and junk, and whatever it takes to make the property presentable. Crivelli said the hardest part is going by the law, which has a mandatory wait period.
''Often, by the time we get to it, the grass could be three feet high,'' he said.
If the township crews have to handle the problem, the cost is placed as a lien on the property tax bill.
Along with the high grass complaints, trustees also approved the demolition of structures at 2624 S. Canfield-Niles Road for a cost of $4,200 and at 4549 Fitzgerald Ave. for a cost of $21,000. Both bids were awarded to Holton Inc. of Lordstown.
Crivelli said the Fitzgerald Avenue house was the subject of a fire three months ago. The fire made the structure unsafe for an asbestos inspection, so it has to be treated as if it had asbestos as far as removal goes.
''We will be getting reimbursed by the insurance company for that one,'' Crivelli said.
On a different clean up situation, the 9-11 Memorial Park of South Raccoon Road was the subject of a recent television news story stating the park was falling into disrepair. Trustee Jim Davis said it merely needed weeding done and some cleaning up and there was a good reason why it hadn't been done.
''We had 15 out of 17 days of rain,'' Davis said.
David said when the staff at Hollywood Gaming saw the news story, they volunteered their complete staff from the Racino, including eight executives who came out, helped pull weeds and get the park looking great.
Trustee Ken Carano praised the Hollywood Gaming crew and chastised those who tried to make the issue into something more than it was.
''Shame on the television station and the people who called in about the park,'' he said.
In other business:
* Trustees declared a vehicle at 2563 Redgate Lane as a public nuisance and ordered its removal.
* Approval was given for the township to join the Ohio Public Entity Consortium Healthcare Cooperative effective July 2014 at benefit levels and cost structure approved by the township's medical committee. Mike Dockry will serve as representative for the township for the consortium.
* Davis asked that residents pray for Father Stephen Popovich and wish him luck in his retirement.
* Ron Borngesser from the Veterans' Corner at the Austintown Senior Center said the vet's home on New Road is almost complete. He said it is not in stone yet, but the township may get another home built for a veteran.
* Fire Chief Andy Frost heard a resident complaining about fireworks being set off in a township neighborhood. Frost said it is illegal to set them off in Ohio, and the police should be called when it is happening.