MAHONING CO. COURTHOUSE Bids will be sought in parking project

Commissioners are to vote Thursday on seeking bids again for the project.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Mahoning County commissioners will take a second shot at finding a contractor to build a parking area for the disabled in front of the courthouse.
The first time, no contractors bothered to pick up a copy of the project specifications, let alone submit a bid.
"We're losing time to get this done," said county Administrator Gary Kubic. "I hope someone comes forward this time."
Commissioners are expected to vote Thursday to seek bids again.
Showing interest: James Fortunato, purchasing director, said several vendors contacted commissioners after reading in The Vindicator that the first round of bidding proved fruitless. They have shown an interest in the project, though none have promised to bid, Fortunato and Kubic said.
They said it's still a high priority project for commissioners, who hope to get the job done before winter.
Under Ohio law, counties are required to seek bids for projects that cost $15,000 or more. If no bids are received, the project can't go forward, Kubic said.
The project will include cutting out a section of sidewalk in front of the courthouse on Market Street, where there will be room for two vehicles to park.
The spaces will be near an automatic door on the southeast corner of the courthouse, where there is already a wheelchair ramp. The door is locked, though, so people who use it have to ring a buzzer outside and wait for a deputy sheriff to let them in.
Door open: Commissioners plan to leave the side door open during normal business hours, allowing people to get inside and out of the weather.
A second door will be built just inside the building, which is where visitors will have to press the buzzer for a deputy to let them into the main lobby.
Disabled people and their advocates have complained for years about the lack of handicapped-accessible parking, which makes it difficult for disabled people to visit the courthouse.

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