JOB &amp; amp; FAMILY SERVICES/CSEA Bidders get last chance to propose new sites
By ED RUNYAN
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Trumbull County commissioners will give bidders one last chance to pitch their possible sites for the large Job & amp; Family Services/Child Support Enforcement Agency.
Their proposals -- some of which which have changed in recent weeks -- will get another hearing at 8:30 a.m. Friday.
Commissioners, during their Tuesday work session, said they will listen to perhaps seven proposals, including two in Niles, and want to get all of the details in writing.
"We've been getting inundated with lobbying" from representatives of the sites, Commissioner Daniel Polivka said of the reason for the session.
Commissioner Paul Heltzel said that in the case of the two Niles proposals, the city is apparently offering to give a discount on electricity, which could be a large savings.
The county requires that the location be in Trumbull County, not a specific community -- although Warren officials have made their preference for the city known.
Only two of the initial nine proposals would keep 250 employees and their clients downtown.
Heltzel said the panel will be trying to resolve the site-selection issue soon because of the amount of time that has already passed since proposals were made in May.
Holding the Friday open meeting will ensure that the process is open to everyone, said Jason Earnhart, assistant county prosecutor.
"No one will be able to say there were back-room deals," he said.
County officials will discuss the sites again during a Workforce Policy Board meeting at noon Monday at Avalon Inn.
The county had received nine proposals from building owners. The list was cut to five then three -- all with input from county officials, community representatives and several boards .
Commissioners said Tuesday there are again seven proposals on the table.
Phillips/Sekanick Architects of Warren did a technical analysis to see if all nine original proposals complied with the county's specifications for price, square footage and other issues.
About the lease and merger
The Department of Job & amp; Family Services and CSEA are merging this year and are largely federal and state funded. Trumbull County wants to lease 76,000 to 77,000 square feet with parking for the "One Stop Center and Child Enforcement" operation. The county seeks a 10-year lease with a flat rate per square foot and an option to buy whatever building it selects.
The current lease with Kleese Development for Job & amp; Family Services offices at 150 S. Park Ave. and 147 W. Market St. expires this year. The county's CSEA is now at 106 High St. N.W. in the county-owned Stone Building.
Seven other possibilities
Proposals still on the table are:
UKleese Development Associates, Warren, for 150 S. Park Ave. (current landlord downtown)
UCovelli Properties, Warren, for 6000 Youngstown-Warren Road, Niles (Village Center Plaza)* Eastgate Technology Park, Poland, for 6.2-acre site on U.S. Route 422 (former Fiore Restaurant and Soul 77 Nightclub)
URiverside Square, Warren, for 1400 Tod Ave. N.W. (former St. Joseph Riverside Hospital)
UJack Gibson Construction Co., Warren, for 258 E. Market St. (Gibson Building downtown)
UCafaro Co., Struthers, for Boulevard Center, Eastwood Mall, Niles (former Sam's Club)
ULewis Development, Warren, for 5000 E. Market St., (former IGA store in Market Square).
No longer under consideration are sites at the former Ridgeview Plaza and former DIY store.