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City, corrections group buy sidewalk cleaner



Published: Thu, July 28, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The city and the CCA split the cost of the machine.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- If you're downtown, get out of the way of the Y-Town CCA Express.

The city and the Community Corrections Association each paid $12,245 for a street-sidewalk cleaning machine for Federal Street and its immediate surrounding areas.

Claire Maluso, the city's Federal Plaza director, said the city and CCA have a longtime strong relationship with the agency providing assistance to Youngstown.

CCA runs a halfway house for inmates as well as a graphic arts/printing business.

Richard J. Billak, CCA's chief executive officer, said his organization is proud to be a part of Youngstown, and wants to do whatever it can to improve the city.

The Y-Town CCA Express, a cleaning machine with scrubbers on the bottom, will drive up and down Federal Street and on its sidewalks, Maluso said. The machine has the ability to clean almost anything off the street and sidewalk, she said. It will be used only for the downtown area.

"This will keep the city cleaner and more beautiful," said Mayor George M. McKelvey. "Downtown looks terrific, and it will look only better with this piece of equipment."

Reviving downtown

CCA residents, supervised by association employees, will ride the machine on Mondays and Thursdays, Billak said.

"Claire and I started talking several months ago about something like this with the number of bars and restaurants opening downtown," he said. "I said, 'Let's think big city like Chicago,' and we decided to split the cost of the machine."

The city reopened Federal Street in December 2004. The street closed in November 1973 to build a pedestrian mall with trees and foundations. Over the years, the mall did little to attract new businesses to downtown, and it fell into disrepair.

Since the $2.9 million project to reopen the street, several businesses and companies have opened on it.

skolnick@vindy.com




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