Repaving budget, street choice altered

YOUNGSTOWN -- The city expects to increase its street repaving budget this year.
How city officials pick those streets will change, too.
Carmen Conglose Jr., deputy director of public works, asked city council members Wednesday to increase spending on paving. He asked for a $50,000 increase compared to last year, to $1,050,000.
Rising costs make the extra money needed to pave the same number of streets as in 2002, he said. Council members agreed.
The city expects the same amount of revenue as last year from the $5 license plate fee, $450,000, Conglose said.
Last year, the city used $550,000 in federal money handled by the city Community Development Agency. That would rise to $600,000 this year.
Another change
Short staffing in the engineering department means that picking which streets are paved will change.
Usually, council members suggest a bunch of streets for paving. Three engineering workers then evaluate those picks and rank the streets. Councilmen and engineers finalize the list based on how much money is available per ward.
One retirement and one resignation leave just one engineer left, Conglose said.
This year, he will give council members a list of roads that were candidates for paving in the past but not funded. Then, council members will suggest changes based on wear and tear they notice once the winter weather breaks.
The approach relieves engineering from having to evaluate all the roads and limits the work to new suggestions by councilmen.

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