YOUNGSTOWN CIC approves fences for problem spots
Originally, downtown officials thought barricades might have to cover a good portion of Federal Street.
By ROGER G. SMITH
CITY HALL REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Fencing is going up around some dilapidated downtown buildings, but much less than originally thought.
The executive committee of the city's downtown agency, the Youngstown Central Area Community Improvement Corp., approved the barricades Monday.
CIC will spend up to $4,000 on silver chain-link fence designed for construction sites and will erect it in three spots:
U & raquo;A portion of the Master's block, in front on Federal Street and in back, to prevent people from parking in the drive-through. CIC can't guarantee people's safety there.
U & raquo;The back of the State Theater on West Boardman Street because bricks could fall from the top.
U & raquo;The back of the Malkoff, Connection and Lustig buildings, along Market Court, plus a neighboring vacant lot. Bricks could fall from the buildings. Fencing also will close off the vacant lot where it fronts on Federal Street.
CIC's contractor is periodically removing loose bricks from the buildings. Nonetheless, the barricades are needed, said Reid Dulberger, executive vice president of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Originally, downtown officials thought they would need many more barricades. They expected the barriers would cover a good portion of Federal Street.
They talked about balancing the need to keep pedestrians away from many of the building facades with the negative impression left by a street full of barricades.
Carmen Conglose Jr., the city's deputy director of public works, reviewed the plans. He determined, however, that only a more limited series of fencing was sufficient, Dulberger said.
"It was felt this was a wise move to protect public safety," he said.
Insurance: Meanwhile, the executive committee approved paying for insurance on dilapidated buildings month to month until determining whether CIC can use the city's liability insurance.
CIC's previous insurance was not renewed because of the buildings' conditions. Several other insurance companies turned down the agency before it found one that would provide coverage.
The committee also awarded Aberdeen Construction of Boardman a $72,400 contract to finish the remaining office space in the George V. Voinovich Government Center. The space will house an office and conference room for the CIC.
CIC personnel: Dulberger said the chamber will advertise immediately for a new CIC director. He hopes to have somebody in six to eight weeks. CIC contracts with the chamber to operate the CIC office.
Until then, a temporary secretary will staff the office. Dave Kosec, the chamber's director of real estate development, will handle projects until a new director is found.
Late last month, Alden Chevlen, CIC executive director, and Gemma Sole, project manager, left. Their departures were called an internal chamber personnel issue.