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Boardman Board of Education give the ok to CRA agreement

December 18, 2019
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

The Boardman Board of Education unanimously approved the Community Reinvestment Area Agreement (CRA) language at the Dec. 16 board meeting. The issue will now be awaiting a final approval from Township trustees on Dec. 30 before heading to the Mahoning County Commissioners.

"This is a step that has to happen before it goes to the commissioners," said School Board President Jeff Barone after the meeting. "We are ok with the abatement and think it will be good for the community."

He said if nothing was done at the mall, it could end up losing more businesses and eventually close up. He said that would be devastating to the community.

"If the mall goes dark we are all in trouble," Superintendent Tim Saxton said in agreeing with Barone.

While the vote was unanimous, the public presentation at the beginning of the meeting brought some opposition. Atty. Carl Rafoth said he thought the 15-year tax abatement was a long time and a lot of tax money to let go of.

"I have owned a house in Boardman for over 50 years," Rafoth said. "I feel what Washington Prime (the company requesting the tax abatement) wants with this abatement is too open ended."

He said his concern was the five new liquor permits and the five establishments that would put a strain on police and safety forces without paying for anything.

A second resident, Roger Morellia, spoke on the entertainment end of the project.

"Have any studies been done?" he asked, "You have the Covelli Center and the amphitheater in Youngstown, so why should we be competing with them?"

Also attending the meeting was Matt Jurkowitz from Washington Prime. He said the trustees will have a formal vote on Dec. 30, then the CRA agreement will head to the county.

Jurkowitz did take time to discuss the abatement with Rafoth. He said there is so much to this agreement, that local news sources have a tough time putting it all out for the public.

On a different matter, Boardman's Director of Instruction, Jared Cardillo, tried to explain another segment of the state report card called "Value Added."

He said the state uses achievement to give a grade on the state report card. It is a component of the state report card that looks at having 80 percent of students passing the tests.

"Value Added is about growing a student," Cardillo said. "No matter where they are at, they need to show improvement, or growth. The State of Ohio has determined what that growth should look like."

He said the state will continue to look at the district, each building, each teacher and each student using the Value Added. What Superintendent Tim Saxton doesn't like about the state's system is the fact if a child has one year's growth, it equals a C grade."

"A year's growth is where a student should be," Saxton said. "But at that mark, the state considers it a C."

Cardillo said the district needs to continue to understand the difference between Achievement and Value Added.

In other business:

The board accepted the following donations:

To Food Service - $100.00 from Jack & Linda Gabrieli. This is a donation to Nick's kids for lunch debt at West Boulevard Elementary School.

To Glenwood Junior High - $200.00 from the Boardman Optimist Club. This is a donation is for the purchase of books in the Glenwood library.

To Boardman Local Schools - $11,340.00 from the Boardman Boosters. This donation is for the interest only payment for the LTGO School Improvement Bonds.

The board set the next meeting for Jan. 9, 2020 at 5 p.m. at the high school.



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