NEW MIDDLETOWN Welker Park bids top estimate

Officials also will discuss what to do about a police levy that expires at the end of 2002.
NEW MIDDLETOWN -- Village council will meet in special session at 6 p.m. Feb. 25 to decide what to do after bids for the next phase of improvements at Welker Park came in higher than expected.
Dave Bakalar, an engineer with village consultants Thomas Fok and Associates, said all but one bid exceeded the engineer's estimate by more than 10 percent. The village can accept bids only within 10 percent.
The two bidders to provide playground equipment for 2-to-5-year-olds were David Williams and Associates Inc., Alliance -- $16,275; and Landscape by Design, Youngstown -- $21,165. The engineer's estimate was $8,440.
Four bidders for a walking path, tennis court, wooden structure and other items included: Butch & amp; McCree Paving Inc., Hillsville -- $89,275; Ashbrook Group, Boardman -- $100,821; Landscape By Design $133,252; and Dynamic Structures Inc., East Palestine -- $144,332. The engineer's estimate was $84,080, making Butch & amp; McCree's the only acceptable bid. Bakalar said his firm will review the bids, then make a recommendation to council in time for the special meeting.
Police levy: Council's safety committee will also meet after that special meeting to discuss what to do when one of two five-year three-mill police levies expires at the end of this year. Clerk Carl Flitcraft Jr. said that only 2.4 mills of the three mills is being collected because 2.4 is bringing in $40,100, the same amount three mills brought in when voters authorized it five years ago. Council will have to decide whether to increase the millage request when it is placed on the ballot in November's general election.
Budget OK'd: In other business, council unanimously passed its annual budget with a general fund total of $386,611, about the same as last year.
Bakalar reported that funding is questionable for replacement of a waterline on Calla Road. The $175,000 project will probably not meet the requirements for a District 6 grant, but Bakalar said he will find out later this week whether it qualifies for a 20 year no interest loan. The line has had 16 breaks since 1990.
Council also unanimously approved buying two Ruger 223 Select-Fire rifles, one for each police car. The rifles fire three-round bursts or can be fully automatic. Police Chief Bill Morvay said the guns are needed to protect police if they are fired on from a distance.
Council authorized $600 in materials to build steps to a storage area in the new addition to the township garage. They also approved $600 for drywall for the old building to make it more fire resistant.
Ice-cream store: Zoning Inspector Dale Miller reported that a variance was approved by the Site Design and Review Board for an ice-cream store with a drive-through window to be built at 10829 Main St. The variance was approved with stipulations for fencing to shield neighbors from lights and noise. Council also approved $852 to buy turnout gear and boots for a new firefighter.

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