HOWLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – On Tuesday, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency ruled the Cafaro Company can go ahead with a plan to build a medical campus along the banks of Mosquito Creek in Howland.
The land is currently certified to be wetlands. Eventually, Enterprise Park will be built there.
A big step toward making that happen came Tuesday when the Ohio EPA issued its final certification to have the project built.
According to the EPA, the certification will allow for “the discharge of dredged or fill material into streams and wetlands during the construction phase of the project.”
The land in question runs north from behind Eastwood Fields to a point behind Sam’s Club. It’s basically parallel to Route 46 and adjacent to the Eastwood Mall Complex.
When the Cafaro Company presented the idea to the EPA in December, the plan was for Mercy Health to build a hospital and medical facility on the property.
Cafaro Company Spokesman Joe Bell said Mercy is still committed to locating there and construction on the site could begin in one to two years.
“We’re delighted by the decision by the Ohio EPA to go forward with this,” Bell said. “We think it’s a wonderful project. It’s good for the community and good for the welfare of people in our area, and it’s an important step in a long process to make Enterprise Park a reality.”
Enterprise Park will include a state-of-the-art, multi-story hospital, an assisted living and memory care facility, a college-level medical and education building, medical and professional office buildings and luxury residential apartments or condos.
The $367 million project has the potential to create 2,200 jobs.
Patricia Dunbar, president of Friends of the Mahoning River — a group that opposed Enterprise Park destroying the wetlands — said, “This is horrible, horrible. That area is one of the most unique wetlands in Ohio. It’s such a blow to the environment.”
Dunbar said her group plans to meet soon and discuss what, if any, action they could take.
Part of the agreement between the EPA and Cafaro Company is the preservation of 27 acres of forested Category 2 and 3 wetlands and more than 5,000 linear feet of streams on the site, and purchase stream and wetland mitigation credits in other areas.