Agreement reached for convicts to help fill Mahoning Co. potholes

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Some of the worst potholes in Mahoning County can be found along Indianola Road in Boardman.

“We have to do everything we can to avoid this road, even though we live on it,” Indianola Road resident John Heasley said. “Traffic is down to a crawl.”

On Friday, Heasley and others finally saw some relief. A crew from the county engineer’s office started filling some of the bigger craters with patching material to help even out the ride. Starting Monday, even more help will be coming in the form of convicted non-violent offenders working off their community service by filling potholes.

Teamsters Local 377 and the Mahoning County Engineer’s Office have reached an agreement to allow those involved with the day-reporting program in the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Department help fill potholes.

This is the second year for the program. Last year, leaders with Teamsters Local 377 filed a grievance against the program, saying the engineer’s office implemented it without talking with union leaders beforehand. The grievance drew widespread criticism and was eventually dropped.

However, Local 377 President Rich Sandberg told WKBN that discussions this year with Mahoning County Engineer Pat Ginnetti began back in January and managed to answer any concerns union members had.

Sandberg said that back in 2014, part of the concern was for the safety of his members.

This year’s program will begin Monday and last about three months.

“I did not know who they were using, so that was kind of an issue with my guys,” Sandberg said. “But there will be non-violent offenders and they will be supervised by a deputy.”

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