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Newton sets public hearing on comprehensive plan

NEWTON — After months of having to wait due to the coronavirus pandemic, township trustees have set a public hearing on the township’s first comprehensive plan.

Trustee John Nemet said the plan was prepared by Youngstown State University’s Center for Urban and Regional Studies. The final public hearing on the completed plan is set for 6 p.m. Nov. 23 at the township hall garage.

Nemet said once the public hearing is held, the trustees will be able to move forward and adopt the plan.

Township trustees and a 15-member citizen committee spent last year and part of this year reviewing the final draft.

Rachel McCartney, economic development analyst with government relations and economic development at Youngstown State University, has met with officials to discuss the plan and what a survey of township residents showed they wanted in it.

The plan was prepared for up to $15,000.

Trustees said the plan will serve as a guide for future land use and development in the township. The township has never had its own comprehensive plan, but was included in a western Trumbull County plan completed a decade ago.

At meetings on the plan held in 2019, residents had expressed interest in having park and recreational areas with walking and bike trails, and kayaking and canoeing on the river.

Officials said having a plan in place will be beneficial when the township seeks grants for projects.

Trustee Chairman Pete Augusta said the plan will help officials identify areas for future land development.

More than 835 surveys sent by YSU were completed by residents, who identified areas that could be deemed residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial over the next 10 years.

The survey results showed residents want to maintain the rural and agricultural aspects of the township and the “family-friendly atmosphere,” have condemned and structurally unfit homes torn down; see residential and commercial development; improve roads and maintain infrastructure; attract commercial and retail businesses; increase services for youth and seniors such as a community recreation center; and want a community van or bus service.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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