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Toronto awarded Health Aging Grant funds



Toronto awarded Health Aging Grant funds

MEETING — The Jefferson County Board of Health Tuesday approved the city of Toronto to receive funding from the Ohio Department of Aging’s Healthy Aging Grant, which the Jefferson County General Health District received in November.
— Christopher Dacanay

STEUBENVILLE — Toronto is the latest community to receive Ohio Department of Aging Healthy Aging Grant funding, following approval from the Jefferson County Board of Health Tuesday.

Toronto was awarded its full funding request of $19,224.84 for two projects: $4,224.84 to purchase chlorine for its War Memorial Pool and $15,000 to redo its tennis courts into pickleball courts. Funds are being disbursed from the roughly $300,000 Healthy Aging Grant, awarded to the health department in November.

Health Commissioner Andrew Henry said the health department still has more than $10,000 in unallocated funds, which must be fully disbursed by the end of the month. He added the health department has ideas for the remaining funds, including plans based on boosting seniors’ digital literacy, in accordance with grant requirements.

Separately, Henry acknowledged the recent sentencing of Crossridge Landfill owner Joseph Scugoza Jr. to 180 days in jail for contempt of court and noted the health department’s understanding that the sentence will be appealed.

This comes after years of efforts from the state to prosecute Scugoza and his late parents for alleged environmental violations at the defunct Crossridge and its sister company, C&L Disposal Technologies.

“The solution to the property (Crossridge) remains our main objective,” Henry said.

He added that Interstate Waste Services, which operates Apex Landfill in Amsterdam, is still interested in cleaning up Crossridge in exchange for an easement allowing it to expand its Apex operations into a new parcel through wetlands currently controlled by the Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District.

“That is still on the table,” Henry said. “However, that transaction is not up to the board of health. I will share more on that when it’s available. However, the sooner the better, as Crossridge is not being maintained in any fashion.”

Additionally, WIC Director Stephanie Chester said she and her staff have been assessing what would be needed for setting up WIC operations at the health department’s Toronto clinic. The local WIC program hopes to be present at the clinic at least once per month for card loads and, later, breast health assessments and certifications. This will likely be done come the new grant year in the fall.

Chester said also that the program is set to attend the Steubenville and Wintersville farmers markets to distribute farmers market coupons, which are expected to arrive during the first week of July. Distributing coupons at the markets themselves will hopefully increase redemption rate and draw more WIC sign ups. Coupons will be distributed to active WIC participants until the end of September or until the coupons run out.

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