Truck traffic from Buckeye Transfer worries officials

FAIRFIELD TWP. – Trustees zeroed in on access to the Buckeye Transfer facility on Esterly Drive from state Route 344 during Thursday’s meeting.

After Trustee Barry Minor said he attended Tuesday’s meeting with Buckeye Transfer and state and county officials, Trustee Chairman Bob Hum said he didn’t want anyone getting hurt at the intersection.

Buckeye Transfer is developing the former National Refractories site into an oil and gas service center which is currently distributing frack sand with plans to build a truck to rail oil and gas transfer point, install a brine water recycling system and add a pipe storage area.

The primary access to the facility is from state Route 344, a two-lane, east west road, onto Esterly Drive.

Hum called the development of the Buckeye Transfer site a “massive” project and after Fiscal Officer Pat Hoffmaster advised of a letter from the Ohio Rail Development Corp. on a proposed closing of the railroad crossing next to the site, Hum said they will look at it but quickly added, “The big question is that intersection.”

He related being at the intersection a couple of weeks ago when a Leetonia school bus was there.

“We have to be careful,” he said, “we don’t want trucks backed up to Route 11 for a left-hand turn.”

Miner explained that representatives from the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Commerce and OMEGA (Ohio Mid-Eastern Government Association), the Columbiana County engineer’s office attended the meeting along with township Road Supervisor Melvin Miller and himself.

“We began discussions as far as road improvements there,” Miner said, noting the county engineer’s office prepared three estimates that included Cherry Ford Road and Esterly Drive.

Miner said more asphalt may be added to the estimates along with the addition of a concrete apron.

Calls to ODOT to request widening easements have been made, he said, adding there is a lot of information that needs to be assembled.

“Buckeye needs to get with OMEGA for money,” Miner said, adding it was good just to “put everyone in a room together” regarding intersection.

“Before we go forward with the rail section, we need to improve the intersection,” he said, adding a traffic count was part of the requirement.

“We have a small piece of the puzzle,” Miner said.

“There are a lot of steps that need to happen before we even look at the railroad.”

No action was taken and Miner said he would provide the minutes from the Buckeye Transfer meeting at the next regular trustee meeting.

In other business, trustees set noon until 5 p.m. May 2 for a tire drive at the government building on Fairfield School Road.

Residents can bring a maximum of 10 auto or small pickup tires without rims and drop them off.

Hum commented, “We’ve been getting fewer tires each year.”

Also, Miller said the road department is still dealing with snow and freezing rain; had a tree down due to ice on Signal Road; picked up road aggregate and fixed the front door on the government building.

The new truck was returned to the dealer for an electric problem and a hydraulic problem which were fixed under warranty, he said adding that he met with the Crestview Baseball Association and Ohio Edison regarding the ballfield agreement.

Hum wondered about a time frame from Ohio Edison for the work.

Miller said it can’t be scheduled until all the paperwork is signed noting he was surprised the baseball association wasn’t at the meeting.

He also related that Unity Township will hold a CPR and AED (defibrilator) class and wanted to know if any Fairfield Township employees wanted to attend.

Miner said, “I think it’s a good idea, you never know what you’ll run into anymore.”

He also asked Miller to check the township’s current first aid equipment for an update.

Miller also discussed plans to place township roads on a six-year chip and seal rotation program and explained some of the details regarding the type of slag and amount of polymer to be used.

The township has approximately 42.5 miles of road and Miller said he wants to “try to do seven miles a year.”

Miner said he thought Miller was “on the right track” with the six-year rotation.

Trustee also approved the use of township roads for an Oct. 27 half-marathon to be held by the Siembida & Boggs Philanthropic Foundation.

The half-marathon will begin at 7 a.m. and end at the Columbiana High School approximately three hours later. Trustees suggested that Crystal Siembida Boggs, who made the presentation, contact the county engineer’s office regarding county roads.

The half-marathon will travel on Kelly Park, Middleton and Lower Elkton roads in the township.

A special session will be held at 7 p.m. March 26 for appropriations and any other business that might come before the board.

Larry Shields can be reached at