Tuesday, September 17, 2002
Council has eliminated this year's street-resurfacing program to save money.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
HUBBARD -- The administration is proposing a property-tax increase to build a police station.
Safety director Robert Paterniti recommended to council Monday a 1-mill to 1.5-mill, 10-year levy to appear on the May primary ballot.
"The building truly needs replaced," Paterniti said, calling it "below substandard."
Mayor George Praznik supports the idea.
"I think that would solve all of our problems. We don't have any money," the mayor said.
Auditor Michael Vilanno said 1 mill would generate about $100,000 annually.
Paterniti said the issue is too late to appear on the Nov. 5 general-election ballot and that it would cost the city $6,000 for a special election. He suggested the May ballot.
The aged police station has drawn attention since the Trumbull County Health Department identified eight types of mold inside.
Tests by Sylcom Safety Specialists of Youngstown have been done to determine the levels of mold spores.
A preliminary report to Paterniti from Sylcom President Ralph S. Sylvester indicates the mold poses no immediate risk.
"The preliminary spore trap results indicate there is no reason to believe employees are in any health danger due to toxic molds," Sylvester wrote.
A contingent of senior citizens packed council chambers recently because of suggestions that officers temporarily move into the senior citizens center in the city administration building.
Lucille LaCivita, president of a group that plays cards at the center, reminded council that hers is not the only group that has activities at the center.
"If you throw us out, fine, but don't forget nutrition," she said. The county operates a nutrition program at the center.
Foster Benton, also a senior citizen, urged that the city pull police personnel out of the station and use the center, saying older residents can play cards elsewhere.
Council President John Darko told the older residents that moving into the senior center is not a long-term solution. He added that the city will find an alternative location for them if police are moved there.
Otto Holm Jr., state representative for the Fraternal Order of Police, called on council to move personnel immediately into temporary quarters.
"Words will not fix the problem," he said.
To save money because of possible additional expenses of replacing the police station, lawmakers agreed to eliminate this year's resurfacing program. The city planned to spend nearly $70,000.
The cut was recommended by Councilman Douglas Rohrer, D-at large. He explained the city has been keeping up street maintenance, although he realizes those who live on streets scheduled to be resurfaced this year will be disappointed.
The city was going to pay $70,000 as its share of a sidewalk replacement project and an unknown amount for paving state routes in the city.