Trumbull commissioners approve step to acquire land for final phase of bike trail

Staff report


The Trumbull County commissioners authorized the Trumbull County MetroParks Board to hire companies that will work on land acquisition for the fourth and final phase of the county’s bike and hike trail, called the Western Reserve Greenway.

The actual acquisition of the rights of way for Phase 4 through Howland and Weathersfield townships and the cities of Warren and Niles is still about a year away.

But the authorization allows Zach Svette, executive director of the Trumbull County MetroParks, to negotiate with MS Consultants of Youngstown and Bowman Appraisal Review of Alliance to negotiate rights of way and appraisal services.

Svette says to expect construction to begin in 2021 or 2022. The project will cost about $3.2 million, most of which will come from grants.

It will run 4 miles from Burton Street on the south end of Warren through Howland and Weathersfield townships to the trailhead of the Niles Greenway in downtown Niles.

In other business, the commissioners appointed two new members of Trumbull County Transit, the county’s public transportation system, to three-year terms.

Appointed are James Pirko, a Trumbull County Realtor; and Martha Yoder, a Republican former Farmington Township trustee who lost in last November’s general election to Michael O’Brien in the race for state representative for the 64th District.

Pirko replaces former Mathews Schools Superintendent Lee Seiple on the board; Yoder replaces Liberty Township Trustee Arnold Clebone.

The transit board has been mired in controversy, including a request by Commissioners Frank Fuda and Mauro Cantalamessa last month for four members to resign after each abstained from voting on a measure that would have re-bid the contract for rides now held by Community Busing Services. None resigned. Seiple was one of the four.