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City Council moves forward on North Broad Street upgrade

February 28, 2013
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

At the Wednesday, Feb. 20 Canfield City Council meeting, a resolution was passed to move forward on the North Broad Street Safety Upgrade Project-Phase II. The work could begin this summer.

"This ordinance will allow MS Consultants Inc. to get started on the engineering and plan development for the extension of the widening, curbing, drainage, sidewalks, and street lighting for that portion of North Broad Street from Skyline Drive north to Dartmouth Drive," said City Manager Joe Warino.

The project could be put out for bid as early as June and the award of the construction contract could take place in July.

The project is being funded in part from an Ohio Public Works Commission grant that will cover $621,000 of the estimated $900,000 project. The balance of $279,000 will come from the city's street, cemetery and recreation fund. The cost of engineering will be shared with the OPWC.

Council also approved a resolution authorizing entering into an agreement with the Ohio Department Of Transportation for the installation of sidewalks on Fairground Boulevard and Hood Drive. Warino said this is the final legislation on this matter and it serves as a commitment for the city to pay 25 percent as the local share of the project, including inspection services.

Council also approved an ordinance authorizing a contract with low bidder Diorio Paving for street repairs. Previously, the work was bid with the idea of joining with the township to obtain better pricing. The township has since decided not to participate in a joint effort, but Warino said Diorio Paving has agreed to hold their bid price in light of the reduction in the contract quantity from the township bowing out.

In other business:

An ordinance was approved authorizing the city manager to enter an agreement with MS Consultants Inc. for the settlement agreement to pay invoices for services provided from 1995 to 2007.

City Council passed a resolution requesting advances on the collection of real estate taxes.

Warino reminded residents in the city of Canfield that have a sidewalk along the front of their house that they are responsible for the removal of snow on the sidewalk. The city has received complaints from residents that the sidewalks are not getting cleared, forcing walkers onto the street surface.

City resident Frank Micchia addressed council on two financial matters, stating that if the finance director was in attendance at the meetings, he could offer explanations. One issue he brought up was the purchase and city ownership of Redgate Farm. Micchia said it was purchased in 2003 and with the interest, principal, taxes, insurance and maintenance, has totaled $135,695.21.

"Now, this regime played no part in the purchase of this land, but the ball is in their court," Micchia said. "Each year, this white elephant is draining $100,000 out of the city treasury -money which could be put to better use. And this will continue for several more years. I am told we do not have money to address some of the flooding issues. Will we ever get our money back?"

Micchia also commented on overtime costs incurred by city employees, which he said amounted to $220,267.44.

"Now, I understand some overtime is unavoidable," he said. "If a water line breaks at midnight, we have to service it. Occasionally, snow removal may require extra hours. But still, $220K is a lot of money that could be better used in the city. My question is, who is watching the store?What efforts are being made to control overtime? Who approves overtime? Who is measured by the amount of overtime dollars? If the finance director attended council meetings, a monthly report could be given on the amount of overtime dollars spent and why. A little transparency goes a long way," Micchia said.



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