Board OKs hiring engineer for work on water tower



The contract won't be signed until land ownership is resolved.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
CITY HALL REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- The city's board of control approved a request by the water commissioner to hire an engineering company for a proposed new water tower in Boardman that might not be built.
The contract to pay up to 236,102 to the Akron office of Arcadis, an international project management and engineering firm, is for design work on the proposed 1.5-million-gallon tank, near Erskine and Afton avenues in Boardman.
The contract won't be signed until a dispute between the city and Boardman over the tank property ownership is resolved, said Youngstown Water Commissioner John Casciano.
"We won't give [Arcadis] a notice to proceed until this is settled," he said after the board of control permitted him Thursday to enter into an agreement with the company. "We asked for approval to enter into an agreement so we could get it ready, but right now, everything is on hold."
There is a 500,000-gallon water tank next to the proposed tank site operated by the city to provide water to Boardman. That tank and the land, as well as the site of the proposed new tank, is owned by Mahoning County.
The city wants the county to give it ownership of the current tank and the land where it and the proposed tank are located. On behalf of township officials, Boardman Administrator Jason Loree recently wrote the county commissioners urging them not to transfer the land to the city. If the property were given to Youngstown, Loree wrote that the township would want a provision in that deal forbidding Youngstown from beginning annexation proceedings on township land.
Here's the situation
Youngstown is awaiting the outcome of a study on its water system -- expected to be done shortly -- that also will include information related to the financial benefits of joint economic development districts and zones with surrounding communities. Some officials in those surrounding communities are concerned about the impact those development districts and zones would have.
County Commissioner Anthony Traficanti recently said a decision on what to do with the ownership of this land won't be made "any time soon."
The proposed tank would cost about 3 million and would replace the tank that provides water to the township and a 500,000-gallon tank on Indianola Avenue that services the city's South Side. The new tank would store more water and provide better pressure to city South Side and Boardman customers, Casciano said.
If the city doesn't get the land from the county, it will look for other sites, he said.
Also at Thursday's meeting, the board approved the purchase of five General Motors pickup trucks and five General Motors cargo vans costing 155,161. As part of an agreement to name the city-owned arena the Chevrolet Centre, Youngstown agreed to purchase GM vehicles when it could. GM is paying 175,000 to the city annually for the naming rights as well as providing 25,000 worth of vehicle leases to the center.
skolnick@vindy.com

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