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The merchants who make up the South Avenue Business Association realize they must supplement police department efforts to reduce crime by improving the environment on the artery that runs by their shops.

Eric Moore wants to become a farmer.

The Iron Roots Urban Farm is giving him paid on-the-job training to help him achieve that goal.

The city’s board of control finalized contracts to purchase grass-cutting and property-cleanup equipment and signed a deal to have the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. oversee the work, a week after the proposal led to a heated debate.

City council members moved forward from last week’s heated debate on a grass-cutting and property-cleanup program.

City council voted unanimously on the $102,168 contract with the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. to supervise and manage a grass-cutting and property-cleanup program.