More movement in the Austintown Police Department took place at Monday's township meeting. In front of a packed house, one officer was promoted and four new officers brought into the reserve force.
The meeting kicked off with the swearing in of Christopher Collins, Austintown's K-9 officer. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant.
Following Collins swearing in, four new officers took the oath to join the Austintown Police Reserves. David Yohman, Dominic Cicozi, Adam Hess and Hannah Banks took the oath and will become active reserve officers this week.
Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Austintown Police Officer Christopher Collins takes the oath of office from Township Fiscal Officer Laura Wolfe during Monday’s township meeting. Collins, the K-9 officer, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.
"That brings our reserve numbers up to seven," said police Chief Robert Gavalier. "Ideally we would like to build it to 10 by adding three more."
He said last year and this year saw a lot of movement in the department as officers became eligible for retirement. He said it will continue this year as three more are expected to retire, leaving more openings that three of the reserve officers will have to fill.
Trustee Jim Davis said the Austintown Reserve Force has been instrumental in replacing retired officers in a way that saves the township a lot in training fees.
"The [reserve] program has saved us over $96,000 in the past three years," Davis said.
He said the key is having officers trained and ready to go, which is what the reserve force does. When a reserve officer is hired into full-time service, Davis said they can move right into the car because they are already trained and know the township.
Trustees also took action to continue clearing the township of nuisance properties and eyesores. Motions were approved to declare a single-family dwelling at 2479 Amberly St. as a candidate for demolition as well as a detached garage at 6266 Fairview Road.
In a separate motion, trustees awarded bids for demolition for a duplex at 202 Idlewood Drive for $3,300 to All Demolition and Company's, Poland; a single-family dwelling and detached garage at 1029 Ohltown Road for $3,000 to Holton, Inc., Lordstown; a single-family dwelling at 133 Ohltown Road for $3,000 to Holton Inc., Lordstown; a single-family dwelling at 130 third St. for $2,800 to Holton Inc., Lordstown; and a single-family dwelling at 3908 Nassau Court for $3,199 to Pro-Quality Land Development, Campbell.
In other business:
Trustees approved a motion to renew the recycling site lease agreement with the Mahoning County Solid Waste Management District.
A motion was approved for a 50 percent auditing contract with GeoStar Professionals for cost recovery obtained on behalf of the township. Township administrator Mike Dockry said the company will go through service contracts to verify the need for the services provided. When they find services the township don't need, they can eliminate it and half the funds saved would go to the auditing company and the other half would be savings for the township.
Trustees agreed to set the meeting on the fourth Monday of each month at the Austintown Senior Center at noon. The meetings on the second Monday of each month will stay at Township Hall at 6 p.m.
The trustees agreed to declare a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee as unneeded so it could be sold. Administrator Mike Dockry said he already had an offer for $1,500 on it.
Kay Lavelle, representing the Senior Center, reported the center was awarded a $2,800 grant through the Austintown Generational Enrichment foundation for the installation of a dance floor at the center.
Under the Park Department report, Todd Shaffer said the splash pad construction should begin within the next two weeks and he asks all park visitors to stay away from the construction area, which will be roped off.
Shaffer brought up the problem of dogs in the park. He said unless a person is in the dog park area, they must have their dog leashed. He also mentioned there has been some vandalism in the park and asked anyone who witnesses acts of vandalism to report it to the park or the police.
Shaffer mentioned that a Civil War re-enactment has been scheduled for April 20-21 in the northeast corner of the park.
Brenda Ryder from Kids Shine for a Cure and RocCK Children's Choir has joined together in an effort to bring awareness to children who are suffering from multiple problems such as cancer and autism. The event will be held at Township Park at noon on April 27. It will include a one-mile walk called "One Mile Matters" and will feature entertainment from Nashville recording artists.