Board will seek bids to demolish houses

Council approved legislation enabling demolition of a longtime eyesore.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Included in the city's 2006 budget is $1.27 million for housing demolition.
Council members passed an ordinance at their regular meeting Wednesday to authorize the board of control to advertise for bids and enter contracts with the lowest and best bidders for residential and commercial demolition services.
The $1.27 million is included in the $142 million spending plan for 2006, which council also approved. The general fund is $39.8 million.
There are about 750 houses on the city's demolition list, but city officials have estimated that between 200 and 300 additional homes and about 100 commercial properties also should be demolished.
Mayor Jay Williams' plan calls for demolishing all decaying houses on a street or neighborhood to help revitalize city neighborhoods.
Property swap
Council also approved ordinances paving the way for a land swap. One ordinance authorizes the board of control to enter an agreement with Gasser Chair Inc. for an exchange of the company's Martin Luther King Boulevard storage building, formerly an office building of Youngstown Sheet & amp; Tube. The ordinance also calls for a $25,000 relocation grant for Gasser Chair.
Gasser Chair would then get the Maverick Tube Corp. office building on Albert Street. Another ordinance passed by council authorizes the board of control to enter a donation agreement with Maverick Tube Corp. to gift the Albert Street property to the city.
The city plans to demolish the former Youngstown Sheet & amp; Tube building with an estimated cost of $250,000 and improve access to V & amp;M Tube and the Ohio Works Business Park. Some city officials have called the building an eyesore.
Council also approved ordinances giving the board of control authority to take ownership of the Erie Terminal building and to seek proposals for prospective developers of the property.
The city has made an offer to the state to buy the Commerce Street building for $300,000. The state is the first mortgage holder on the property.
The building used to house Mahoning County Child Support Enforcement Agency, but that office moved out last year.
Additions and change
In other business, council authorized creation of two new city positions and a raise and title change for a third post.
Both new positions, human resource supervisor and deputy director of economic development, were proposed by the mayor.
The human resources position will pay $46,321.08 annually and the deputy director of economic development will earn $55,035 annually. Both positions will be filled through civil service testing.
Another ordinance increases from $64,999.22 to $69,929.81 the annual salary for Jason Whitehead and changes his job title from secretary to the mayor to secretary/chief of staff to the mayor.

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