The council president suggested a water valve replacement project.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
HUBBARD -- The chairman of city council's park and recreation committee says he won't support an effort to reduce the park board's budget.
Doing so, said Councilman John Marshall, D-2nd, committee chairman, would penalize a board that has planned ahead for projects.
Councilman Richard Keenan, D-4th, chairman of the safety committee, suggested earlier this month that the park board's budget be reduced so a police patrol officer wouldn't be laid off because of budget restraints.
Marshall said during a Monday caucus session that the park board's budget is about $37,000 annually, $19,300 of which is for salaries. Because of the limited funding, Marshall explained, the board accumulates money to pay for projects over five-year periods.
Marshall said the board wants to replace a 1978 vehicle and build a new pavilion and restrooms at Mattinat Park.
Councilman Douglas Rohrer, D-at large, said that if a full-time officer is furloughed, part-time auxiliary police can't work because of the union contract with police.
"It's like a parent deciding which child is going to starve," Rohrer said.
During the council meeting, Safety Director Robert Paterniti explained that there is only enough money in the budget to keep the officer on the payroll until March 1.
Also during the caucus, council President John Darko suggested the city begin a water valve replacement program.
Darko said that when a waterlines break -- which is frequently because of the old age of the lines -- the water can't be shut off and repairs are made while water flows.
Kenneth Graben, water and wastewater superintendent, said valves can't be found because streets have been resurfaced, burying them.
Also, Mayor George Praznik reported that bidding for the replacement of sidewalks and curbing on the south side of West Liberty Street will take place in June. By July, the mayor explained, construction will begin on replacing the sidewalks and curbs from Hall Avenue to the downtown. It is part of a $245,000 three-year project.
This is in addition to an Ohio Department of Transportation $1.08 million project to resurface West Liberty and North Main streets. The city's share is $180,000.