Youngstown council agrees to land lease with V&M Star - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Youngstown council agrees to land lease with V&M Star

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The city of Youngstown will be cashing in about $8.5 million over the next three years.

The money will come from a land lease with V&M Star, and will likely be used to buy the city more time before leasing mineral rights for oil and gas drilling.

Wednesday night council approved the legislation to sign a 99-year contract with the company.

The land designated in the lease will be used for their expansion project. The city will in turn receive about $18 million over the course of the agreement.

Mayor Chuck Sammarone says the first year's payment will be used to balance the year's budget. He hopes council will then agree to use any remaining money to demolish vacant homes, a project the city had originally planned to fund by using revenue from a lease of city-owned mineral rights.

A study is currently being conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency to help determine the safety of oil and gas drilling.

Sammarone hopes the study will be released before the city moves forward with any agreements.

As for the deal with V&M, the leased land is located within the joint economic development district.

According to Youngstown's Finance Director David Bozanich, Girard will not receive any money from the lease but since the development is located within the city's school district they will receive 25 percent of realty property taxes.

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