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COG will shift focus to seeking grants for shared equipment

HOWLAND — The Trumbull County Council of Governments plans to seek grants this year to help with costs for purchasing small equipment that can be shared among its member communities.

COG Chairman James LaPolla, a Howland trustee, said at Wednesday’s meeting the organization will see what grants are available, but will start off with small items, such as lawn mowers that townships, villages and cities can share.

“We will see what items different communities may need after we see what grant monies are available,” LaPolla said.

He said Dennis Lewis, retired Bazetta fire chief; Michael Verich, a retired state representative; and Dan Morgan, Howland zoning administrator, have all been asked to help the COG write grants.

LaPolla said in 2021, the COG was able to assist Vienna in getting two homes near the road and police departments demolished. He said Brookfield trustees have asked for assistance this year to get the former Schuster Restaurant off Brookfield Avenue torn down.

LaPolla said paperwork is underway, but no demolition date has been set. In past years, the COG has assisted in covering costs for demolitions in Braceville, Farmington and Niles.

LaPolla said the COG wants to do more than just demolitions but also provide equipment and possibly manpower to share among communities. The COG will be asking the county commissioners to select a representative to attend the meetings. LaPolla said it can be anyone who works for the county.

In other action, the COG:

• Named LaPolla president; Vienna Trustee Phil Pegg, vice president; and Warren Township Trustee Ed Anthony, second vice president;

• Named Braceville fiscal officer Thomas Shay as fiscal officer starting in April and also as bylaws chairman as the bylaws are getting updated since COG restarted six years ago;

• Named West Farmington Mayor Shirley McIntosh, Hubbard Councilman Jerome Crowe and Liberty Trustee Devon Stanley to the COG board;

• Set meetings for 7:30 p.m. the second Wednesday of month at the Howland Township administration building;

• Announced the COG’s current balance is $11,472.

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