Officials to decide fate of county annex

Published: Thu, September 27, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Peter H. Milliken


Mahoning County commissioners will soon decide whether to sell or demolish the county’s South Side Annex, 2801 Market St., said John A. McNally IV, chairman of the commissioners.

The county’s auto title department is scheduled to move from the annex to Oakhill Renaissance Place, 345 Oak Hill Ave., over the three-day Columbus Day weekend, McNally said.

The title department will be the last occupant to leave the annex, which once housed Sears and Treasure Island department stores.

The commissioners hope to receive by next week the results of a $3,830 survey of asbestos in the annex by Environmental Protection Systems Inc. of Girard, McNally said.

“We’re looking for the asbestos-removal cost to be added into some other things to figure out really how much it would cost to demo the building, or make a decision to put it up for public sale,” McNally said.

To facilitate its move, the title department plans to close at noon Oct. 5 at the annex and reopen at 8 a.m. Oct. 9 on Oakhill’s first floor, inside entrance A, said Scott Grossen, administrator of the county clerk of courts office, which operates the title department.

Grossen was preparing a notice Wednesday morning to inform local motor vehicle and boat dealers of the move.

The county health department’s adult day-care center relocated Sept. 17 from the annex to 110 Westchester Drive in Austintown. The Mahoning Valley Law Enforcement Task Force left the annex in July and relocated to an undisclosed location.

The commissioners adopted resolutions designating a smoking area outside Oakhill, saying the county sheriff’s office has jurisdiction over Oakhill security matters, and directing all county employees and tenants to park in Oakhill’s parking deck, leaving outdoor surface parking spaces open for visitors.

Next week, the commissioners hope to award a contract for a parking lot and driveway repaving and re-striping at Oakhill, with the work to be performed primarily on October weekends to minimize the impact on employees and on people coming to Oakhill to vote early, McNally said.

Signage directing people to various offices at Oak-hill also will be improved, he added.

The commissioners, at their Wednesday meeting, also awarded a $316,948 contract to Shelly & Sands Inc. of Akron for repaving of a heavily traveled, nearly two-mile section of New Road between state Route 46 and Meridian Road in Austintown.

Marilyn Kenner, chief deputy county engineer, said the work is scheduled to begin Monday, weather permitting, and be completed in 30 days on the road, which was last paved more than 10 years ago.

The job is being funded entirely with gasoline tax and license plate revenues received by the county engineer’s office, Kenner said.

Two inches of asphalt will be milled out and replaced with 2 inches of asphalt.

The commissioners also honored Mary Lou McDonald, who will retire Monday as domestic relations court administrator, for her 36 years of service to the county.

She will not be replaced, and her duties as administrator will be assumed by Magistrate Donald Hepfner.

In compliance with a new state law, the commissioners raised the threshold for required competitive bidding from $25,000 to $50,000 for regular matters and from $50,000 to $100,000 for emergency matters, effective Friday.

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