Home Us church FirstEnergy hopes to run power lines through St. Angela of Merici Parish property in Youngstown

FirstEnergy hopes to run power lines through St. Angela of Merici Parish property in Youngstown

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — We’ve heard a lot about FirstEnergy’s plans to run new power lines from downtown Youngstown to the East Side. Most of the criticism is because the lines would run behind the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheater. Eventually, the lines would also pass through the parish of Sainte-Angèle de Merici, and the priest was not happy about it.

St. Angela Merici Parish dominated the East Side of Youngstown for 111 years. But now FirstEnergy wants to erect a utility pole and run power lines through the property.

“They just say in this area, here,” Pastor Kevin Peters said.

Pr. Peters showed us the place – on church property – where the pole would go. The lines would start from Wilson Avenue, go up Gladstone Street and cross Lincoln Park.

“The more conversations we had with people in town and in the neighborhood, it seemed like a bad idea,” the father said. Peters said.

“Lincoln Park is one of the gems of our city,” said Diana Hancharenko, who leads the church’s young adult ministry.

The ministry has been working to clean up Lincoln Park, which is next to the church.

“We pulled hundreds of tires from the ravine here,” Hancharenko said.

The power line proposed by FirstEnergy would cross Lincoln Park, likely requiring the clearcutting of old oak trees.

“Bringing anything that’s going to destroy any of the trees or any of the landscaping that we have right now, I think that would really decimate these beautiful spaces that we have,” Hancharenko said.

Pr. Peters has already declined FirstEnergy’s $5,700 offer for an easement on the St. Angela of Merici land.

“Money doesn’t even become a problem for us. I mean, $5,700 is a pittance,” the father said. Peters said.

He also fears that neighborhood landlords will be taken advantage of if they are offered $5,000.

“There are people here who don’t have money to pay their utility bills and when you present them with an offer to buy an easement, it’s hard for them to refuse,” the father said. Peters said.

Pr. Peters seemed convinced that FirstEnergy would not put power lines here.

“The diocese told us they would support our play 100%. Whatever we have decided at the parish level, they will support it. We do not grant servitude. We are not going to accept it,” the father said. Peters said.

Prof. Peters says the church plans to build greenhouses to grow fresh food for locals along the same path where the power lines would run. He says if the power lines end as planned, the greenhouse plans would have to be scrapped.