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The trick? Giving out the treats

Valley mayors favor drive-thru Halloween

GIRARD — Saying it’s the holiday he receives the most phone calls about, Girard Mayor James Melfi said he and other area mayors have been discussing what to do about Halloween trick or treat this year.

Plans are still being worked out for trick or treating during this coronavirus pandemic. But Melfi told city council Monday that the local Mahoning Valley Mayor’s Association has discussed the topic and received help from the Western Reserve Port Authority.

“Things will change this year for the upcoming Halloween. It will be a drive-thru trick or treat like the food distributions. Items will be placed in the trunks of vehicles. The children will have to stay in the cars and city officials, and the police will safely put treat bags in the trunks,” Melfi said.

Melfi is president of the mayor’s association. He said he and other mayors have spoken to the port authority and have stressed not wanting to cancel Halloween.

“The health and safety of all our residents is most important. This year the children have taken it on the chin pretty good. So instead of waiting for Columbus to come out with some directive, I pulled all the mayors together and with the help of the port authority we are planning a program of holding trick or treat in every community on Halloween at the same time,” he said.

Melfi said the treat bags will be assembled by a local business, and the OH! WOW Roger and Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science and Technology also will provide experiment packages.

“Each mayor will have to come up this week with the number of treat bags they will need, because there is a time factor to be ready for Halloween,” he said.

Melfi said no tax dollars will be used for purchasing the treat bags.

“We lucked out this year with Halloween falling on a Saturday, which will be uniform throughout the Valley,” he said.

A distribution site will be set up in Girard, likely across from the municipal justice center with Warren and Youngstown likely to have more than one distribution site because of more children.

Melfi said children will stay in cars. How many children are in the vehicle will determine how many bags are placed in the vehicle’s trunk.

“In the 20 years and eight months I have been mayor, no holiday gets more calls than” Halloween, he said.

Councilman-at-Large John Moliterno said what is proposed would be “a very positive event done safely for all the children of the Mahoning Valley.”

“The children may get more than if they were going door to door,” he said.

In other business, council:

¯ Heard from Safety / Service Director Jerry Lambert that nine streets, including Mohican Trail, East Second Street and Stull Avenue, are being paved this fall, and plans are to pave 11 streets in 2021. Second Ward Councilman Mark Standohar said the city identified 20 streets that need to be paved;

¯ Approved submitting an application to participate in the Ohio Public Works Commission state capital improvement program and local transportation improvement program for street paving in 2021;

¯ Heard from Dominic Adams, a senior at Ursuline High School and local Boy Scout with Troop 83 of Mineral Ridge and Troop 40 of Girard, of plans to do an Eagle Scout project at Tod Park called the “Tod Park COVID-19 Memorial.” He said the project will be around the park flag pole with paving, mulch, flowers and a rock dedicated to those affected by COVID-19, and a bench dedicated to health care workers and first responders. Plans are to have it done by December;

¯ Heard from Councilwoman-at-Large Lily Martuccio who praised police officers for their efforts to help a suicidal individual in a car recently;

¯ Scheduled a finance meeting for 6 p.m. Oct. 13.

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