New ordinance sets schedule for demolitions

The demolition plan was formulated with the input of Youngstown officials.
WARREN -- Council members unanimously passed legislation Wednesday approving what city administrators are calling an innovative new demolition plan.
The ordinance, sponsored by Councilwoman Helen Rucker, D-at large, authorizes Mayor Michael J. O'Brien and Service-Safety Director William Douglas Franklin to enter into contracts for the demolition of 20 structures in the city.
The new demolition plan would require the contractors to do a specific number of demolitions in a specific amount of time, which has not been the case in previous city demolitions. The only case in which the contractors would deviate from the prescribed schedule is if a fire damaged a home so severely that it needed to be torn down.
The city now has a contract with Richard Boccia Construction to demolish structures on an as-needed basis.
Warren administrators have targeted 20 homes across the city that they would like to begin demolishing as soon as possible, Franklin said.
The contractors would be under a performance bond that would require them to demolish all the homes in 40 days, city Engineer William Totten said.
As soon as the 20 homes are demolished, administrators will ask council to approve the demolition of 20 more, O'Brien said.
Similar to Youngstown plan
The new demolition plan is similar to one in Youngstown and was made with input from Mayor Jay Williams and other officials. Totten has also met with Youngstown officials to discuss demolition, O'Brien said.
"It's not just mayor talking to mayor, it's engineer talking to engineer," he said. "The goal is to have our two cities working together to deal with problems like blight."
In other business, O'Brien also announced that Reese Teleservices will not close its Warren facility as previously announced.
In October, Reese Teleservices Chairman Christopher Ungarino sent a letter to O'Brien saying the 3709 Youngstown Road S.E. location would be closed by Nov. 30.
O'Brien said Reese Teleservices has been able to establish a new customer base that will allow the company to stay open in Warren.
Reese employs more than 170 people, who bring in much-needed taxes to the city, O'Brien said. In 2005, Reese employees paid 73,190 in income tax to the city.
Ordinance targets theft
Also Wednesday, council members passed an ordinance that would increase city oversight of pawn shops and junkyards.
Many people use junkyards and secondhand shops to sell stolen items, said Councilman Gary Fonce, D-at large, who sponsored the ordinance. The ordinance would help that problem by better tracking the flow of items in and out of the shops.
The ordinance would require all secondhand shop owners and junkyard dealers to keep an account book that would include the names and addresses of all the people they buy items from.
The resolution also would require secondhand shop owners and junkyard dealers to examine the driver's licenses or identification cards of anyone they buy items from.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.