The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

March 28, 2012

Ashtabula Township gets permission to remove 45,000 tires

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Neighbors and township officials have been unhappy with a pile of 45,000 scrap tires at Accurate Iron and Metal, 2007 State Road.

The tires have become not only an eyesore, but a potential threat to human health, public safety and the environment, said Mike Settles, spokesman for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. When left to rot, scrap tires may harbor rats and become a breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes.

Settles and township trustees urged the property owner, Patricia Colucci, to allow the township access to the property and clean it up.

Colucci did so on Tuesday, said Bambi Paulchel, chairwoman of the township trustees.

“Everything is a go; we’re excited,” Paulchel said. “It’s good news and a nice start to spring.”

Last year, an Ohio EPA staff member helped Ashtabula Township trustees apply for a grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to remove tires from Accurate Iron and Metal.

In May 2011, the ODNR gave Ashtabula Township an $80,000 grant to clean up the tires, beginning July 1, 2011, and ending June 30, 2012.

For years, Colucci’s husband, John E. Colucci, salvaged scrap metal from vehicles. He had garnered about 93,000 tires in the scrap yard in 2004, according to the application. That same year, the Ohio EPA ordered him to start removing the tires.

The job was about halfway done when John E. Colucci died in September 2007, according to news reports.

Following his death, no one was able to get permission from Patricia Colucci to have access to the property — until a Star Beacon article ran two weeks ago, Paulchel said.

“(Colucci) came in and signed,” she said, noting township officials are working on getting bids to remove the tires.

 

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