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Warren passes Lordstown sewer rate deal

WARREN — City council approved legislation creating a new 10-year agreement with Lordstown that, at the end of the year, will increase the sewer rates village residents pay from 75 percent of the amount paid by Warren residents to 80 percent.

The legislation passed 8-1, with Councilman John Brown voting against it.

“I could not in good faith vote to pass legislation that allows persons living outside of the city to pay less for their sewer rates than are being paid by city residents,” Brown said.

Mayor Doug Franklin emphasized the goal of the legislation is to get Lordstown customers eventually to pay the same amount being paid by Warren residents over an eight-year period.

At one point, Lordstown sewer customers were paying no more than 29 percent of Warren customers’ rates. An agreement was made, however, that brought that amount to the 75 percent rate, which is the same Trumbull County was paying.

In other action, council:

• Approved a resolution protecting workers’ right to organize in labor unions;

• Approved an ordinance 8-1 supporting police mutual-aid agreements with communities throughout Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties. The agreements allow on-duty officers to travel into other districts to provide law enforcement aid in the arrest of persons located outside the department’s jurisdiction. Councilwoman Helen Rucker, D-at-Large, voted against the measure.

Rucker noted she is concerned about supporting the agreement because it is a permanent mutual-aid agreement and she is concerned about whether it would obligate the city to incur costs during tough financial times. She also wants a larger percentage of Warren officers having body cameras, before supporting them going outside of the city;

• Unanimously approved an ordinance allowing the city to seek an Eastgate Regional Council of Governments grant that will pay for the engineering and eventual rebuilding of the Packard Park Pedestrian Bridge;

Under the proposal, Eastgate could provide a grant for $64,480 for engineering, with the city paying a $16,120 local share for a total of $80,600. The engineering study would take place in 2023. The construction grant will be $955,520, with the city providing a $238,889 local share for a project total of $1,194,400.

• Unanimously approved an ordinance allowing the city to annex 2.58 acres at 986 North Road NE, which was located in Howland, into the city. The property was purchased by the Staton-Borowski Funeral Home, which requested it to be annexed into the city.

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