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Tue. 10:55 a.m.: Girard reaches agreement on railroad property

GIRARD — After 15 years, Girard has reached an agreement with the Youngstown Belt Railroad Co. to acquire 40 acres of former railroad property for the city to use for future recreational purposes.

City council on Monday reached a lease and right of entry agreement with the railroad, in the city’s pending litigation on the matter.

Law Director Brian Kren said the settlement was reached with the railroad after the issue to get the property was first raised under former Law Director Mark Standohar in 2006.

“This matter has been going on for some time and we now can put it to rest. We have reached the best offer for the city,” Kren said.

He said the vacant property is located along the Mahoning River, west of U.S. Route 422 and west of the golf dome property.

“The city has wanted to acquire the property for recreation, for bike paths and trails and possible recreational fields,” Kren said,

He said at when litigation was first filed the railroad had been in the process of possibly selling the property for a landfill.

Kren said the litigation took time since there were questions of whether a county court had jurisdiction over the case and whether eminent domain applied; or if the matter fell under federal courts and a federal transportation board.

“This was never about money. The city just wanted to acquire the property,” he said,

Kren said the railroad company is leasing the 40 acres to the city for 99 years for $1. After 99 years the property will be turned over to the city.

Read MORE in Wednesday’s TRIBUNE CHRONICLE.

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