Leetonia zoning inspector raises Pennex issue

LEETONIA- A proposed expansion in the industrial park has raised concerns with Zoning Inspector John Rydarowicz, but the zoning committee has elected to stay out of it.

Rydarowicz told the committee Wednesday night that the general contractor hired by Pennex Aluminum Company, located in the Columbiana County Port Authority’s Leetonia Trade Park off state Route 344, has multiple lawsuits filed against them, likely a result of not using trained iron workers for projects. He requested council to hire a subcontractor to work in the zoning department to conduct weekly inspections during the project.

According to Rydarowicz, since he has to award a certificate of occupancy for the project, he would feel better knowing he could stop issues when they arise instead of waiting until after the project is complete, then have to see the company seek compensation if there is a problem. Rydarowicz did note that PSI (construction materials testing and engineering) will conduct three inspections during the course of the project, but those inspections will be at the expense of the general contractor, who will know when the inspections will occur.

The zoning committee told Rydarowicz that Pennex hired the general contractor, so any issue is the company’s problem and is not the village’s business to interfere with.

Rydarowicz said he will defer issuing the certificate of occupancy to the state.

In other business the committee agreed to let the county assume control of the vacant home at 303 Columbia St., which Village Solicitor Walter Newton said has a $5,000 tax lien and is being foreclosed upon. Rydarowicz in December presented a nearly $4,500 estimate (not including hazardous waste removal) to raze the building.

Newton said if the county cannot sell the building, it will likely be offered to the school district or the village. The committee expressed interest in the property if it becomes available.