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TRUMBULL COUNTY Time running out to pick One Stop site



Published: Tue, August 23, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The group earlier recommended sites near the Niles-Warren border and the Village Center in Niles.

By ED RUNYAN

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- The growing frustration was apparent on the face of Leo S. Grimes, chairman of the Trumbull County Workforce Investment Board.

He had just informed county Commissioner James Tsagaris and other county officials that the board was going to need more information before it could give its second recommendation on where the One Stop employment center, Family Services and Child Enforcement operation should be located.

The work-force board met Monday at Avalon Inn. It had earlier given commissioners its recommended sites.

Last week, however, the commissioners invited seven bidders to explain -- once more -- their proposals.

Monday, the work-force board asked county officials to provide that new information so it could re-evaluate its own recommendation. Tsagaris said it would be provided by the county auditor's office as soon as possible.

"I've been frustrated the last three to four years and I'm still frustrated," Grimes said. He said it is frustrating to start over in evaluating the proposals so that the board can make yet another recommendation.

What's sought

Trumbull County wants to lease 76,000 to 77,000 square feet with parking for a center to house the combined agencies. Warren city officials want to keep the 250 jobs in Warren, if not in the downtown.

Grimes said the work-force board's previous recommendation, not revealed publicly at the time it was given weeks ago, was a proposal by Eastgate Technology Park. Eastgate proposes new construction on 6.2 acres on U.S. Route 422 near the former Fiore Restaurant and Soul 77 nightclub. The location is in Warren near the Niles border.

The work-force board's second-ranked proposal was from Covelli Enterprises, to put the agencies together in the Village Center Plaza in Niles in the former Carlisle's store.

Job and Family Services Director Tom Mahoney said he hopes the work-force board can get the information from the county auditor's office soon and make another recommendation.

The auditor's office is reviewing all the bidders' financial figures.

County commissioners, who will make the final decision, "are under a lot of pressure to decide," Mahoney said.

The leases at the current Job and Family Services locations -- in downtown Warren -- run out at the end of the year, Mahoney said, which is the reason officials have been trying to secure a new location.

"The existing space we have is not good for the staff or clients we are trying to serve," Grimes said.




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