YOUNGSTOWN Finance panel's actions

City council's finance committee took up these items Tuesday:
Recommended appropriating $258,000 for new sidewalks, most of which is paid with money from Mahoning County. Mayor George M. McKelvey reminded council that failure of a 0.5-percent county sales tax renewal on the ballot in November would wipe out that funding for the city. Approval of the renewal likely would mean even more money for the city, McKelvey said.
Recommended the board of control waive competitive bidding and award a contract for about $120,000 to Hubb Systems for laptop computers in 20 police cars. Bidding would be waived because Hubb is the only provider that meets the city's technical and legal requirements. Two other bidders didn't meet the qualifications.
Tabled legislation to abolish the position of Federal Plaza director from the city salary ordinance. The council-controlled job will be left vacant since the last director recently took the city's $10,000 incentive to leave the payroll. Committee Chairman James E. Fortune Sr., D-6th, argued that council shouldn't abolish the job until the city knows how special events will be handled. A part-time worker likely will handle special events once money becomes available.
Voted to eliminate free, two-hour parking downtown and return to metered parking. Richard Atkinson, R-3rd, said his vote was made "wholeheartedly." Meters will raise revenue and free parking wasn't making spaces available as expected.

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