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Howland receives $45,659 traffic safety grant

HOWLAND — The Howland Police Department has been awarded $45,659 in federal funding from the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Ohio Traffic Safety Office.

Police Chief Nick Robert told township trustees Wednesday the grant is awarded to law enforcement agencies whose jurisdiction experienced an average of two or more fatal crashes over the three-year period of 2018 through 2020.

He said to help reduce the numbers, the Howland Police Department will conduct high-visibility enforcement, working overtime hours to enforce violations of speed, impaired driving and restraint use.

Roberts said police also will be participating in mandatory blitzes and national campaign for the rest of 2021 and into 2022 including at such events as Halloween, Super Bowl Sunday, St. Patrick’s Day, Distracted Driving Month in April and Fourth of July.

The funds are passed through the OTSO from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Trustees also approved at the recommendation of Roberts the police department applying for the Office of Criminal Justice System Body-Worn Camera grant of $9,700.

Trustee Matthew Vansuch said this will be the first time the department’s officers have had body cameras and the plan is to purchase eight of them.

In other business, fire Chief James Pantalone recognized resident Vicki Raptis who last month was driving to work early in the morning and saw a home on Howland Wilson Road on fire.

He said Raptis stopped and alerted the people living in the home of the fire, getting both children and adults out safely. Raptis also alerted 911 to get safety crews to the scene.

“The situation could have been devastating. I believe in fate that Vicki was placed there at that time for a reason to be there for that family. There were three adults and three kids who got out of the house,” Pantalone said.

Also, trustees approved submitting an application with the Trumbull County commissioners, county engineer and Warren city, who are partners in the Golden Triangle infrastructure improvement plan, to the Economic Development Administration American Rescue Act Economic Adjustment assistance program.

The commissioners are the primary applicant of the fund request.

The groups are seeking $2.657 million, or 80 percent of the total project cost of $3.32 million.

Vansuch said this is a resubmission of the previous application in October 2020 for realignment work.

He said the proposed project is for the realignment of the Larchmont Avenue / Bronze Road / Overland Avenue intersection, the realignment of Dana Street and the improvement of Bronze Road.

“It is the largest item in the Golden Triangle improvement plan,” Vansuch said.

The local match is 20 percent with county engineers contributing $359,959; Warren $197,610 from community block grant funds; and Howland $106,890 for a total match of $664,459 which is 20 percent of the $3.32 million.

Trustees approved Howland contributing its $106,890.

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