New Castle seal

New Castle seal

A city resident asked New Castle City Council for the third time to resolve issues with a business operating in a residential area.

“I thought I’d stop by and touch base and see what’s been done,” Michael Casciato said. “So far, I haven’t seen anything being done.”

Casciato said the property next to his home was sold for $500 due to it being in the repository. The new owner of the property now runs multiple businesses out of a garage on the property, such as landscaping, Casciato said.

“I’ve lived there for 83 years, and all of the sudden he (his neighbor) comes in there with no building permit, no nothing,” Casciato said.

The owner, Casciato said, excavated the sod from the garage to the street and trucks continuously drive over it. Casciato said he was told a silk fence would be installed, but it has yet to be done.

Councilman Tom Smith said he didn’t understand why the fence had not yet been installed.

“They got their orders to go up and talk to the gentleman to put the silk fence up,” Councilman Tim Fulkerson said. “Why it’s not up? I don’t know.”

Casciato said he has spoken to county’s tax accessor’s office, council, code and zoning multiple times, but has been getting “the runaround.”

“Code says, ‘That’s zoning.’ Zoning says, ‘I told code,’” Casciato said.

According to Jonathon Miller, the city’s assistant solicitor, Casciato would have to file a conditional use request, which would then go through the planning commission before it would come before council.

A cease and desist letter will also need to be drafted and sent to the property owner.

“If there’s a zoning violation and the zoning officer is not acting on the violation, the mayor has the right to order action to be taken,” city Solicitor Jason Medure said.

“They tell you, ‘If you see something, say something,’” Casciato said. “So I’m saying something. That’s all I’m doing.”

Russell and Sondra Hall presented a letter to the council to ask for their assistance in addressing loitering and noise stemming from patrons of St. Marguerites Mutual Beneficial Society in Mahoningtown.

“We have lived here across from the club parking lot for almost 30 years,” the Halls’ letter read. “Until about four weeks ago, we never had a problem with the club activities.”

The Halls said issues begin around 10 p.m. and don’t end until 3 a.m. The pair said they’ve called the NCPD multiple times, but said the police can only do so much.

“If they go inside the club, they want to stand on the tables and dance naked, I don’t care,” Sondra Hall said. “I don’t want them coming out into the parking lot and making noise and waking me up.”

“I am a member of the St. Marguerites Club,” said Councilman Richard Beshero about being transparent. “I play Trivial Pursuit. I have a couple drinks and I go home.”

Beshero said he’ll speak with the owner of the society to see what can be done about the loitering and noise.

In other news:

•Residents living near George Washington School have asked the council to deny an AT&T cell tower due to safety. They asked independent environmental safety or legal studies be conducted before a vote occurs.


Maria Basileo is a news reporter. She covers Laurel and Shenango school boards and municipal government.

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