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Questions remain about Enterprise Park

DEAR EDITOR:

Questions remain regarding the proposed Enterprise Park development. In addition to destroying critical flood plains and degrading water quality, concerns should be addressed before a single tree is cut.

Is Mercy Health committed? It has been reported Mercy Health has not formally committed to relocate at Enterprise Park. This move would further distance Mercy Health facilities from medical needs of western Trumbull County citizens.

Given efforts to demolish the abandoned St. Joseph Riverside Hospital on Tod Avenue NW, we should know more about Mercy Health’s long-term plans for the Eastland Avenue facility. Another question for Mercy Health that I have asked, without a response, is if they have considered the teachings of Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical, “Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home,” urging protection of environment and climate as common good not to be destroyed. Pope Francis encourages our global community to recognize ecocide as a “fifth category of crime against peace” in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Next, jobs are of foremost importance. Despite news reports stating Enterprise Park will create as many as 2,200 jobs for local residents and generate approximately $99 million in annual payroll taxes, etc., questions remain if these are permanent jobs, temporary construction jobs or transferred jobs from a closed St. Joe’s Eastland. What will happen to St. Joe’s Eastland current employees if it is abandoned? Generating $99 million in annual payroll taxes seems unrealistic by my calculations. Can we see accurate job and tax revenue projections and clarification about whether tax revenue will go to Howland Township or Warren?

Also, what impact will Enterprise Park’s annexation have on Howland Township? Who will be responsible for emergency services at Enterprise Park? Howland Township trustees unanimously supported Enterprise Park development, including Mercy Health’s condition that Warren annex the property. For the sake of citizen health and safety, what is Howland Township’s agenda for potential annexation? How will Enterprise Park impact emergency response times (especially during holiday traffic), utility service issues and infrastructure maintenance requirements for flooding?

Perhaps the greater (socioeconomic) good of our Mahoning Valley would be best served by renovating / expanding the existing Mercy Health facilities or by redeveloping our abundant vacant greyfields. In this scenario, all residents maintain proximity to health care, and we avoid the legacy of another abandoned hospital.

Moreover, I believe citizens will win financially by preserving flood control, carbon-sequestration capacity and other ecosystem services of wetlands that our scientists, religious leaders and future generations advocate for conservation.

COLLEEN McLEAN

Howland

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