Sewer petition signatures fall short in Mecca

MECCA — Township officials said efforts to get enough signatures on a petition to get sanitary sewers and waterlines along state Route 46 have fallen short.

Trustee Chairman Fritz Birkhimer said at this week’s meeting more than 50 percent of the residents in the area have signed the petition, but they need 75 percent to present to the engineer’s office to move forward with the process. The goal is to get sewer and water to the residents on Route 46 and other nearby streets.

Birkhimer showed a map he received of the area with those properties that have signed the petition colored green.

“We need more signatures on the petition to at least move forward to see what can be done,” he said, noting more people seem to be in favor of sewers than waterlines. He said residents have told him they can live with current water sources, including wells.

Birkhimer said he spoke with Trumbull County Commissioner Frank Fuda, who said if enough people support the issue and it is placed on the ballot and approved, various state and federal grants could be sought to help with project costs.

The engineer’s office would accept the petition and then present the matter to the commissioners and also have meetings on what costs would be involved for such a project. The earliest the project would be done if approved is 2025, officials said.

Birkhimer said if people want to sign the petition they can attend a trustees meeting or call him at 330-219-1429.

Bristol Trustee Ramon French said the township also was trying to get enough signatures to get waterlines extended along state Route 45 to the center, but has not been able to get enough to warrant the project proceeding.

“Unless something happens with more surveys being returned, it is not looking good, and is becoming a dead issue,” he said.

A meeting is planned Monday in Champion to discuss waterlines in that township, and French said he will see what takes place there.

In other business, Birkhimer said trustees plan to have Vera Gatchell of Gatchell Grant Resources Inc. attend the March 16 meeting to discuss grants she can help the township acquire for various projects.

He said trustees will come up with a list of projects they would like to see done and if grants are available for waterlines and sewer, fire department supplies and road projects.

“We will come up with a list of 10 to show her and then narrow it down to the top three,” Birkhimer said

Resident Darryl Black said he wondered if grants can be acquired for smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors for residents. Fire officials said Bazetta got grants from Walmart for detectors for the public and Vienna has some available from a recent donation.

In other business, trustees reported the court case over the costs former fiscal officer Debbie Drawl cost the township will be heard by Judge Andrew Logan in March.