VIENNA TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – A presentation was held Monday evening to discuss the future of the Youngstown Air Reserve Station (YARS) and Vienna Township. Right now, YARS is waiting to hear if they will be the home to eight new C-130J aircraft, but the Department of Defense wants to make sure no problems will come up in the future.
During a special meeting, Julie Green, director of the Trumbull County Planning Commission, presented their findings of the Joint Land Use Study with the Youngstown Air Reserve Station. The plan was put together to help prevent any issues in the future if the base gets new C-130J aircraft.
“For this piece of land, here is the recommended building height maximum,” Green pointed out.
The purpose is to prevent any tall structure that could affect any of the aircraft.
“The maximum buildable height, even directly adjacent to the runway in certain locations, is over 100 feet tall,” Green said.
The Department of Defense also requires outdoor lighting in specific areas.
As of now, Vienna Township has everything in place, but the study is for the future.
“So you’re good today. What kind of rules and regulations and zoning expectations do you have in place to make sure nothing stupid happens down the road?” asked Dave Christner, president of the Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Council (EOMAC).
One area that is already affected is Mathews High School. Planes have been seen loudly flying above the school. School Board President Beth Haddle says teachers have to stop their lessons because of the noise.
The recommendation is to relocate the school, but the issue becomes funding.
“We won’t get a lot from the Ohio Facility Commission because of our evaluation. It’s only 16%. So we need some clear-cut directives as to where to go and how to approach these folks in order to get some help,” said Russell McQuaide, superintendent of the Mathews Local School District.
Ohio House Representative Nick Santucci says they can help the school as much as they can but it’s more at the federal level.
Green says she has been in talks with both Congressman Dave Joyce and Senator JD Vance’s people about this.
“I understand the difficulty in trying to secure funds and we’ll be willing partners, and have been, just don’t have any answers for you right now,” Green said.
As of now, everything is just a recommendation.