WARREN - The United Way of Trumbull County will meet next week to decide if it should dissolve and a new agency be created with the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.
The Trumbull County chapter is placing legal notices in newspapers advising donors from August of 2011 to July of this year to vote on the proposal from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. July 26 at Leo's Ristorante in Howland.
Trumbull County United Way President Tom Krysiek declined to comment Thursday, referring questions instead to a consultant who helped the agency study whether they should merge.
That consultant, Laurie Reuben of the Cheshire Group in Maryland, said a study recommended that instead of merging with Youngstown, an entirely new agency be created that would serve both communities.
She said the reason for this is to ensure people that there is no takeover or that one group would be above another.
''It is strictly a fresh start,'' Reuben said.
Bob Hannon, executive director of the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, could not be reached for comment.
Under the bylaws of the Trumbull agency, all donors must be allowed to vote. She said there is no voting by proxy if a donor does not show up.
If the donors approve the dissolution and the creation of a new agency, then an interim board of directors will be created and they will then begin the process of creating a new agency, Reuben said.
There were lots of factors pointing the way to both agencies becoming one, including the economy, Reuben said. She said the fact the population is shrinking in both Mahoning and Trumbull counties is another factor, and a lot of employees of both agencies live in one county but work in another.
The United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley provides funding to programs at 27 local non-profit agencies. The United Way of Trumbull County provides funding to programs at 22 local non-profit agencies. Both are non-profits.
Previous attempts at a merger between the two agencies had been met with resistance, mostly from Trumbull United Way officials. It last came up in 2010.
Tribune Chronicle archives indicate the two agencies also had explored the merger idea about 13 years ago. At that time, they had split the cost of a $30,000 study that took eight months to complete. The Trumbull County United Way board of directors voted against a merger at that time, but said they would use the report as a strategic planning tool.