Fairfield trustees name Miner liaison for road issues

FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP – Mounting concern with increased heavy truck traffic at the Buckeye Transfer facility led the board to appoint Trustee Barry Miner as its liaison regarding road issues with the company during Thursday meeting.

Trustee Chairman Bob Hum made the motion after Miner, who retired from the Ohio Department of Transportation with 30 years experience, gave an update on surveying near Esterly Drive and state Route 344, the major access point into Buckeye Transfer.

Hum asked about a time line and Miner said a traffic study will be conducted while noting the Columbiana County engineer’s department has been surveying the area.

He said the engineer’s department is “working diligently” to move the project toward funding estimates.

“It’s critical,” Miner said, “looking at funding … we need estimates from the county engineer … it all hinges on estimates and surveying.”

He said the intersection is the first issue to contend with.

“The state road (344) is going to be key to everything,” Miner said, “we need that to make decisions on where to go.”

Hum said appointing Miner will keep dealings with Buckeye Transfer “more organized.”

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.

Last month, Hum called the development a “massive” project while noting 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.”

Trustees have discussed obtaining money from the Ohio Department of Jobs and Commerce and OMEGA (Ohio Mid-Eastern Government Association).

Trustees have grown increasingly sensitive to road safety and conditions.

Road Supervisor Melvin Miller said Esterly Drive is showing visible signs of wear on the shoulders.

In other business, trustees want more information regarding a resident’s plans to install a 160-foot tall wireless Internet tower for line-of-sight usage on a 20-acre field.

Zoning Officer Kymberly Seabolt said the tower did not meet the zoning code which has a 35-foot high restriction, but has OK’d 150-foot cell phone towers with conditions.

The tower would help fill in areas where Internet service is unavailable.

Hum, after asking about the number of towers that would be built in the township and other issues said he was uncomfortable “voting on it tonight.”

Seabolt said she will speak to the township’s consultant regarding it and have information for the next meeting.

Miner said, “There’s definitely a need” adding he agreed with Hum about obtaining more information.

“I’m sure there’s a simple answer,” Hum said.

Also, in other business, trustees approved the dedication of Red Tail Drive to accommodate development of lots; and a Crestview Road resident complained about a “person on the west side of the tracks” running a 4-wheeler “very fast” while pulling wheelies in the area and on school property.

Concerned about the danger, the disturbance and legality, the resident was advised to contact the sheriff and possibly get photographic proof.

The resident said he wanted it noted by trustees.

Larry Shields can be reached at lshields@salemnews.net