Mahoning engineer looks to help Washingtonville

WASHINGTONVILLE – Mahoning County dispensed with its chip and seal program 16 years ago, but newly-elected County Engineer Patrick Ginnetti told village council Monday he wants to resurrect it and implement additional “job share” programs to help villages and townships handle constantly increasing road maintenance costs.

Village Councilwoman Becky Vignon, the street committee chair, invited Ginnetti who addressed a number of other issues but focused on a chip and seal program.

Divided into Mahoning and Columbiana counties, Washingtonville’s chip and seal program begins soon and arrangements have been made with the Columbiana County engineer’s office.

Ginnetti talked about helping the village out on the Mahoning County side.

“If we can do it in-house that will help,” Ginnetti said after explaining his predecessors in the engineer’s office sold all the chip and seal equipment.

He said Mahoning County is chipping and sealing 8.6 miles of road this year.

“I’m trying to develop some shared services with the state,” he said, noting the Ohio Department of Transportation is installing three new road salt stations in the county to cut down on wasted time and gas.

Ginnetti said his office is “trying to be proactive and get out there” to the townships and villages but nothing is in place yet.

“When we start these agreements there will be flaws” and they won’t be seemless, he said.

Saying he’s embarrassed by some of the roads he sees, Ginnetti said Mahoning County has been stagnant for 20 years.

The county is getting started with line-striping program which he said offers a 60 percent savings over what townships would pay, he said.

“We want to do that with the paving (too),” he said, explaining it would take some training in his office.

“This year I have to live with a budget that was made last year … we’re going to continue to try to do a better job. Everyone has the perception that government workers are just milking the system,” he said, “and that just doesn’t work anymore.”

He also discussed bringing truck scales back.

“The issues we’ve had in the past is to get the judges to enforce our fines,” he said, noting they aren’t trying to stick it to anyone and Assistant Police Chief Mark Husk said, “People don’t understand what trucks do to the roads.”

After Ginnetti finished his discussion, Vignon asked about fixing village sidewalks and Ginnetti suggested getting in touch with Lowellville which had been successful in obtaining Community Development Block Grants for them.

In other business, the village will hold its “picnic in the park” from 3 to 7 p.m. July 20 with free hotdogs and buns and a dunk tank featuring Police Chief Police Ken Faust and Husk.

Council endorsed a suggestion by Solicitor Michele McBride Simonelli to hold a “Keep Washingtonville Beautiful Day” on July 13 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. with a break at 1 p.m.

Village officials and employees can volunteer to mow and clean up areas that are not on private property, Mayor Will Jones said.

Larry Shields can be reached at