MVSD nearing pick for engineer

MINERAL RIDGE — Several “extremely qualified” candidates are being considered as the next chief engineer of the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District and he or she will be able to decide if the position of plant operations manager — a position eliminated by the board last month — is necessary, a board member said.

Richard Hale, the appointee of Niles council to the four-person board, said he is hopeful the next chief engineer will be selected in the next two months.

In the meantime, the firm MS Consultants is filling the plant operations manager position and because of the employees they send to the plant, the board found the position unnecessary to keep, Hale said.

“There were some questions about who was going to fill the position. We decided to eliminate it for now. At this time we have MS Consultants there, so we have a lot of resources available if we need any additional services,” Hale said.

Anthony P. Vigorito, 41, held the position that was created for him after he failed to get the necessary certifications to become the chief engineer. Vigorito was placed first on paid leave and then on unpaid leave after he was indicted in March in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. Vigorito is accused of falsifying training documents for 26 Youngstown Water Department employees he taught training courses required by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

He is facing two counts each of forgery, non-compliance with Ohio’s safe drinking water law and tampering with records. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and is free on bond.

Vigorito was paid $77,000 a year and was responsible for overseeing some projects and providing engineering services, Hale said. Employees of the district and of the consulting firm are handling the responsibilities.

If the next chief engineer thinks the position is necessary, he or she can work with the board to bring it back, Hale said.

The board is looking at several candidates from Ohio for the chief engineer position and is expected to conduct interviews soon, Hale said. The salary is negotiable, Hale said.

MVSD distributes water to an estimated 220,000 people in Niles, Youngstown, McDonald, Girard, Canfield, Mineral Ridge, Lordstown, Craig Beach and portions of 10 townships.