MANSFIELD — Mansfield City Council on Wednesday is scheduled to discuss during caucus a zoning change that could allow E.R. Boliantz Packing Co., Inc. to operate a slaughter facility at 1325 N. Main St.

The city’s Planning Commission voted unanimously on Sept. 26 to recommend the zoning change ask to local lawmakers.

If council approves the change, the issue would return to the Planning Commission for a vote on the actual conditional use.

Council is meeting one day later than normal due to Tuesday falling on Election Day.

Currently, the property is zoned as an industrial district, which allows meat packing, but does not allow slaughtering of animals.

Bob Boliantz told Planning Commission members he would like to purchase the 29,000-square foot building on the five-acre parcel and use it to slaughter about 35 animals a day.

All of the slaughtering will take place indoors, according to Boliantz, an Ashland County resident, who said the food industry has turned to locally-sourced products.

Boliantz’s beef, purchased from area farms, can be found in a host of retail stores around Ohio, including the source of 15-store Buehler’s Fresh Foods’ “Proudly Raised in Ohio Certified Angus Beef ® brand” program.

Boliantz said there were once large plants in Ohio that slaughtered 500 to 3,000 animals per week.

“They’re all gone. This has brought more demand on the small plants. There’s few of us left,” he said.

“I’m operating now in a plant that’s a little under 10,000 square-feet. We purchased the Weidle’s (Meats) building that would take some of the pressure off.

“We moved all the custom processing there and the other plant’s gone. So this is a little better than twice a square footage that we have,” Boliantz said.

Employee base has more than doubled

He said his business has grown to 51 employees, up from 20.

“We need to do something here. There’s opportunity for employment. We’re not mainstream suppliers. We’re a niche market. We don’t put all our eggs in one basket. We do a lot of processing for other small plants. We do a lot of wholesale work. We market stuff from Detroit to Pittsburgh to Columbus to Cleveland,” he said.

“That’s grown because of the recognition. People want to know who fed the cattle, where the meat comes from, who stands behind it. So we put our our name on everything,” Boliantz said.

Boliantz’s plants are federally inspected and meet all USDA requirements. He said a rendering company comes to his plant daily to pick up byproducts left over from the slaughtering process.

Marc Milliron, the City of Mansfield demolition coordinator, told Planning Commission members there are no nearby residents.

“The nearest neighbor that we looked at is probably around 4,000 feet away. This area that they’re in … it’s an industrial area. There’s not a lot of housing,” Milliron aid.

According to the legislation’s schedule, a vote on the change is not planned until Dec. 19.

(Below is the proposed legislation City Council is scheduled to discuss and/or vote on Wednesday evening.)

In other activity scheduled Wednesday, City Council is expected to:

— vote on the planned demolition of 14 deteriorated buildings in the city. Demos are planned for 31 Glessner Ave., 164 W. Blanche St. (rear), 166 S. Main St., 215 E. First St., 220 S. Adams St., 243 Park Drive, 308 Central Ave., 409 Wayne St., 411 Tremont Ave., 521 King St., 527 King St., 528 Cherry St., 543 Bowman St. and 589 Garfield Place.

— vote to authorize a payment of $1,200 to Ahmed F. Kent for damages caused by a sewer backup at 458 Davey Ave. on Aug. 23.

— vote on a proposal to rezone a portion of five land parcel at and around 475 S. Diamond St. from MH (Mobile Home), MF (Multi-Family) and B-1 (business) to B-2 (General Business District). A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled at 6:45 p.m.

— vote on a proposal to transfer $10,000 with the general fund permitting and development department to pay landfill tipping fees for the remainder of 2023.

— vote to appropriate $22,428.41 from the unappropriated parks and recreation fund for the repairs of one of the North Lake Park stone entrances on West Fourth Street. The entrance was damaged in June when a car crashed into the sandstone pillar on the west side of the West Fourth Street entrance to the historic park, which opened in 1887 as Sherman-Heineman Park. The city received $22,418.41 in insurance proceeds after the crash, which had happened as the result of a shooting incident inside the car.

— discuss in caucus a proposal to appropriate $25,000 from the unappropriated parks and recreation fund to provide additional operating funds for the remainder of the year.

–discuss in caucus a proposal to spend $101,085 for a new backhoe for the sewer department, using sewer department funds.

— discuss in caucus a proposal to allow the public works director to seek bids for custodial services at the Municipal Building, wastewater treatment plant office building, the water treatment plan office building and the utility collection building.

— discuss during caucus proposed legislation amending the city’s “street obstructions and special uses” ordinances. Officials said it would upgrade the permitting process for parade assemblies, special events and planned street obstructions.

— discuss during caucus proposed legislation amending the list of “municipal bodies” recognized in the city’s codified ordinances. It would remove boards no longer in operation and add boards currently meeting, including the Downtown Improvement Advisory Board, the Historic Preservation Commission, the Public Arts Commission and the Tax Appeals Board.

— discuss during caucus a temporary 2024 spending plan for the City of Mansfield. The temporary plan, which includes $34.6 million in general fund spending, is the final proposed budget from outgoing Mayor Tim Theaker. The temporary plan, scheduled to be voted on Dec. 19, must be approved by the end of the year. A permanent spending plan, the province of the next mayor, must be approved by the end of March.

— vote on a proposal to retroactively allow the public works director to purchase a 2024 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 from Fredericktown Chevrolet for $54,300 to be used at Mansfield-Lahm Regional Airport. The truck would be used for daily department work at the airport on the city’s north side.

Council’s evening begin Wednesday with a parks committee meeting at 6:05, followed by a claims committee meeting at 6:10 and a finance committee meeting at 6:15. The public hearing is planned for 6:45 with caucus at 7 and the legislative session following immediately thereafter.

Chuck Hahn, Cleveland Financial Group, invests in this independent reporting through a Newsroom Partnership. Learn more about Newsroom Partnerships.

What's the impact of our reporting?

The Community Development Section is dedicated to reporting on the intersection of the private sector and public funding, economic development efforts, and community engagement. We want to know what impact our reporting is having. Please complete this short survey.

"*" indicates required fields

Have you done any of the following as a result of a community development story published by Richland Source?*
Please select all that apply.
If you made a decision or took action, which of the following apply?*
Please select all that apply.
What is the primary emotion this story triggered?*

If so, please provide your name and contact email in the box below. We will only contact you about this project.

City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when...