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Welcome Home kits provided by Community Action Partnership with an assist from the Shenango Valley Foundation include appliances and utensils for former residents of the State Towers apartments in Sharon.

MERCER COUNTY – Less than 10 families displaced from State Towers apartments remaining in Shenango Township hotels are being moved as Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds begin to dwindle.

Ann Morrison, Mercer County’s chief clerk, said the rest of the families – about 16 more – have found alternative housing.

“We will be moving them temporarily to some other hotels,” Morrison said. “They have applied for housing so we are transitioning them to permanent housing.”

Morrison said the county has approximately $50,000 in ERAP funding remaining to support rental and utility needs.

Sharon Sewer Authority shut off water and gas service to the seven-story apartment building at 632 E. State St. in Sharon, April 14 due to non-payment of city sewer bills and because a faulty boiler had been leaking natural gas for months.

About 35 people were displaced with 26 families were temporarily housed with ERAP funding in a Shenango Township hotel.

The county mobilized a range of resources to assist residents in finding housing and other necessary services.

The community pulled together to bring the tenants water and to help feed the former tenants hot meals during their hotel stays.

Mercer County Community Action Partnership recently prepared welcome home kits worth about $560 each to give to each family as they found permanent housing. The welcome kits included items such as bedding, silverware, a microwave, cookware, a vacuum and cleaning supplies, toothbrushes, a toaster, a dish drainer, glasses, a trash can, and an iron and ironing board.

Sharon authorities cited the former property manager, Joseph Fusco, and the owner of the apartment building, Nancy Duker, with several code and fire violations.

District Judge Travis P. Martwinski continued Duker’s hearing for six months. He found Fusco guilty of eight citations of failing to retain a rental license to operate non-owner-occupied units. Fusco was later found guilty of fire code violations.

Fusco is facing about $3,300 in fines, but he is appealing his case to the Mercer County Court of Common Pleas.

Follow Melissa Klaric on twitter @HeraldKlaric or email her at

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Melissa has been a news reporter for The Herald since 2013, covering breaking news, northern Mercer County, Sharon City schools and education. She is a 1992 graduate of Youngstown State University with a Bachelor of Arts in communications.