Weathersfield Twp. business owner says Niles shut his power off because he wouldn’t annex

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Last year, Niles City Council passed an ordinance requiring outside property owners to annex into the city if they want Niles utilities

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – The City of Niles shut off the power to a business zoned in Weathersfield Township Friday. The owner said it was done without any notice.

John Ackworth, who owns ASAP Sanitary Services, recently bought property in Weathersfield Township. A couple of weeks ago, he asked the City of Niles to change his utilities over.

Annexation started becoming a topic of discussion.

“They told us that we couldn’t have any utilities as far as power, water or sewage unless we would annex over and join the annexation,” Ackworth said.

Last year, Niles City Council passed an ordinance requiring annexation of outside property if the owners want Niles utilities.

“This property had service and utilities from Niles over the past 30 years,” said Richard Harkins, Weathersfield Township trustee. “Today’s no different. It’s just a different owner.”

On Friday, things seemed to take a turn.

“The City of Niles showed up, their power department showed up, and just shut our power off without any notice or anything whatsoever,” Ackworth said.

Niles Mayor Steven Mientkiewicz said the city sent Ackworth multiple notices.

“It did transfer on public records on the Trumbull County auditor site. We do require that the utilities be in the property owner’s name.”

Niles law director Phil Zuzolo said annexation is not the only resolution. They can also reach an agreement.

“With the understanding that we’re going to sit down and try to come to an agreement. We’ll temporarily leave the utilities on,” Zuzolo said.

The filing injunction has been put on hold. Next week, a meeting will be scheduled with city leaders so they can reach an agreement with Ackworth.

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