Economic Development

Canfield Community Sticks to What Works

CANFIELD, Ohio – When he was just five days old, the parents of Richard Duffet, the mayor of Canfield, brought him home to Neff Drive in Canfield.

After graduating from Canfield High School and spending more than a decade in the U.S. Navy, he returned to his hometown because he “loved and missed Canfield so much.

“I came back to Canfield to, once again, Neff Drive,” Duffet said at Good Morning, Canfield! Oct. 4 at Waypoint 4180, the new banquet center in CTW Development’s Westford Commons. “This time, I came back with my wife. We bought a home just up the hill from my childhood home.” 

At the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber’s breakfast Friday, Duffet laid out five reasons why he believes Canfield is a unique community: safety, a committed investment partner, Canfield Local School District’s reputation, investments and people’s attraction to the city.

“People want to live in Canfield,” Duffet said. “Because of our great schools, charming city and our small business expansions, our safe city’s residential real estate market is sizzling.” 

When homes become available in Canfield, they sell quickly, Duffet said. While in office, the mayor has sought the input of residents for what the city can improve and what can be added to the community.

Among the most common answers, he said, have been more businesses  Village Green,upgrades along the U.S. Route 224 to take care of traffic problems and bike trail infrastructure.

Most people think school faculty members “take it easy” during the summer months, said Alex Geordan, superintendent of the Canfield Local School District. However, the summer months are actually busy months, he added. 

“Those are the times where we can get into the buildings and utilize our time and work with the facilities and staff development,” Geordan said. “As an administrative team, we develop goals for the future.” 

Some of the improvements at the Canfield Local School District include the state’s report card performance featuring A’s in graduation rate and closing the learning gap, Rosetta Stone language education programs, the district’s winning of a Kovach Safety Award, a new phone system and new turf at the football stadium.

“We not only want to make sure we are educating our youth, but we’re utilizing our funds appropriately,” Geordan said. “We are top 5% school district in the entire state of Ohio. Only two school systems are performing higher than Canfield.” 

Other speakers at the breakfast included Canfield Township Trustee Joe Paloski, Cardinal Joint Fire District Chief Don Hutchinson, Aimee Fifarek, executive director of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County and Elizabeth O’Hara, vice president of The Walnut Grove.

Road paving in Canfield Township this year will consist of Leffingwell Court along with Blue Heron Drive, Killdeer Drive and a top coat on Gibson Road heading west just before the bridge over the turnpike, Paloski said. Next year’s paving will include Pheasant Run Drive, Cedar Park Drive and the eastern section of Sugarbush Drive, he added.

Work also began on replacing a curb, catch basin and to mill and repave 325 feet of Fairway Drive from Tippecanoe Road to Barber Drive, Paloski said. 

The Cardinal Joint Fire District wants to join with businesses to provide training in CPR and Avoid, Deny, Defend, or ADD, training Don Hutchinson said. Training costs $25 per person. 

“Next year is a big year for us as our current ladder truck is 28 years old,” he said. “It’s been scheduled to be replaced since 2017.” 

The Walnut Grove has plans to install restrooms and a pavilion, O’Hara said. However, funds still need to be raised, she added.

“We are hoping to have possible donors and grants that we have written to,” she said. “It’s definitely needed. We have a large volume of traffic going through.” 

The restrooms will be handicap accessible and will have changing tables provided. A well was dug on the property for the restrooms, but it does not provide enough water to accommodate everyone who visits, O’Hara said. 

“We are waiting for the township to help us out in that perspective,” she said. 

Not only is Canfield becoming a safer city to live in, it has great schools and financial and human capital investments, Duffet said. 

“We have plans for Canfield’s future that we believe positions Canfield for a bright and better future,” he said. 

Pictured: Canfield Mayor Richard Duffet was among the speakers at Good Morning, Canfield! Friday morning.

Copyright 2019 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.