Newton Falls ignores petition, plans to take over township land

NEWTON FALLS, Ohio (WYTV) – The City of Newton Falls is planning to take over several hundred acres of land from Braceville and Newton townships, despite a petition from residents there who are against the annexation.

The petition had very little effect on the city’s decision to annex the land.

City council said it’s “go-time” on the project. Newton Falls Mayor Lyle Waddell said the process to take over the land has been longer than three years.

The city wants to take 440 acres of land near the Ohio Turnpike from the two townships. Officials want to develop it to improve the economy in an area they said has been forgotten.

“Yes, we feel we’ve been forgotten, and this turnpike interchange has been there for the 62 years I’ve been here and hasn’t been improved, and we feel it’s time to change that,” Waddell said.

Eight homeowners are involved with the annexation. One of them is David Hanson, who went to Monday night’s council meeting. He wants this plan to go through.

“Get in some nice distributions, manufacturing, something to build our tax base here because we’re all struggling,” Hanson said.

City Council Member Tarry Alberini wants to develop the area around the turnpike exit and Route 5.

“The turnpike exit, we probably have the only turnpike exit in the state that’s not developed,” he said.

Under this plan, homeowners in the area will still pay property taxes to Braceville and Newton townships but any income tax will go to the city.

“Property taxes will stay with the townships and the townships are going to benefit from anything we do,” Waddell said. “The growth that we get, their property will increase in value, which increases their property taxes and it will be a win-win situation for everybody.”

The next step in this process will be a meeting between Newton Falls leaders and Trumbull County commissioners. They have the final say on whether or not the plan will go through.

The date for that meeting hasn’t been set.