Council to mull GPS in city vehicles

By David Skolnick


City council will consider legislation Wednesday to move forward on installing GPS tracking systems in every city vehicle and to hire a company to oversee the replacement of elevators at 20 Federal Place.

Council has a full agenda with 45 items to consider at its Wednesday meeting, starting at 5:30 p.m. with a 4:45 p.m. finance committee meeting. It’s the first meeting since a special one on July 30 for council, which is coming off its summer recess.

As part of Mayor Charles Sammarone’s “accountability policy,” he said in May that every department in the city’s administration would have time clocks — except police and fire because of their schedules and that there are processes in place to track the time of those workers — and GPS (global positioning satellite) systems.

City workers started using the time clocks last week.

Council will vote Wednesday to authorize the board of control to seek proposals and enter into a contract with a company to install and maintain the GPS systems.

The legislation doesn’t include an estimated cost.

Also, council will consider permitting the board of control to hire a company to design and oversee construction of new elevators at the city-owned 20 Federal Place downtown office building. That work is expected to cost about $110,000.

At its July 30 meeting, council agreed to replace the three elevators at the former Phar-Mor Centre with a $500,000 estimated cost. Each elevator would be done separately and take about four to five months each to replace.

Also on council’s agenda is extending a $2 million loan with Erie Terminal Place, a recently-opened downtown housing project that expired Aug. 25. The request for the extension, legislation sponsored by Sammarone, would permit the company to not have to pay the loan, which has a 0.25 of 1 percent interest rate, until March 1, 2013.

The loan is backed by an irrevocable letter of credit from a lending institution, so the city is guaranteed the money will be repaid.

Council also will consider permitting the court system to spend $12,000 from the court’s capital improvements/operating supplies fund to cover the costs of transferring Youngstown Municipal Court Judge Robert P. Milich’s court to the space vacated by Robert A. Douglas Jr., who retired recently as a municipal court judge.

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