There still is no agreement, and Girard won't be rushed in negotiating a land deal that would give about 200 acres from Girard to Youngstown for a proposed $970 million expansion of V&M Star Steel, Mayor James Melfi said late last month.
The two cities are close to an agreement, Melfi said, but what remains is to finalize ''monetary terms.''
Those terms, though, could still provide quite a roadblock as Melfi admitted Monday evening that calculations exist in the proposed contract that could be ''very negative down the road'' for Girard.
Youngstown and Girard have been engaged in ongoing talks over the land transfer that could pave the way to a major local steel industry development project and up to 500 new jobs locally.
Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams said last week he was hopeful an agreement could be finalized and approved by both communities this week calling for the transfer of acreage from Girard to Youngstown for the V&M Star Steel project.
Melfi previously balked at the land transfer, saying he was against changing the city's borders and that he thought Girard was getting shortchanged in the deal.
V&M officials want about 200 acres of land in Girard moved to Youngstown for a possible expansion of their seamless pipe mill on U.S. 422. The mill sits in Youngstown but borders Girard.
After Monday's meeting Melfi again refused to be rushed into a decision.
''This is may be the single largest decision made by City Council in our city's history. We have to take our time. We have to study it. We have to research the legal ramifications, the economic and math calculations. To just constantly put the pressure on a small town to sign something is unfair.''
As a result, no action was taken on the land transfer at the Sept. 28 regular Girard City Council meeting. Instead, council passed only a resolution in support of a future deal with Youngstown, as a gesture Councilman Joseph Shelby said to show support for the proposed expansion.
The resolution stated council supports "an agreement with the City of Youngstown and now authorizes the preparation of a final draft of such an agreement with the City of Youngstown, pending all final negotiated terms.''
The resolution passed by a vote of 5-1, with one abstention. Councilman Michael Costarella voted no after asking Shelby if the resolution effectively meant that whatever Girard's negotiating team agrees to, council will vote for. Shelby replied, ''Yes, that's essentially what it says.''
Shelby, who introduced the resolution, and Councilman Thomas Seidler II, who seconded the motion, declined to comment following the meeting.
Costarella said he supports the V&M project ''in theory.'' However, he said he felt the resolution ''was irresponsible because you cannot possibly promise to vote for a proposal you've never seen, that you do not know the details of.''
During Monday's meeting, Girard resident Nick Panno, of Parkview Drive, criticized the proposed land deal, saying few facts about the proposal were publicly available.
''Before you make a decision, you better know what you're doing,'' Panno said. ''People fight wars for land, and you're giving it away. I wouldn't give up one foot of Girard, and if you do, I'll be out there campaigning against every one of you.''
Following the general business of the meeting, council entered into executive session at the request of Law Director Mark Standohar to discuss pending litigation and other matters related to the V&M proposal and land deal. No action was to be taken.
Melfi initially opposed the plan to change Girard's borders, but a tentative deal was brokered between both cities Aug. 24. Officials from both cities and the Youngstown / Warren Regional Chamber reportedly met last week to continue negotiations.