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Mayor worried the rent could increase in the future.

Published: Tue, March 5, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

By William K. Alcorn



The Youngstown Board of Health may move to a city-owned facility to save rent being paid for its space at a Mahoning County-owned building.

The 2013 rent for space at Oakhill Renaissance Place, 345 Oak Hill Ave., is $50,000.

At Monday’s board meeting, Mayor Charles P. Sammarone, who also is health board president, said the rent contract at Oakhill expires in 2015, and the cost could “jump up even more.”

The city health department houses its offices and records department and the Youngstown Office on Minority Health at Oakhill.

Sammarone suggested the board look into the feasibility of moving into a city-owned building, such as the Youngstown City Hall Annex at 9 W. Front St. in downtown Youngstown.

“We should at least look at utilizing space in one of the city’s buildings to save the rent money and put it back into the community instead,” the mayor said.

The city also is working to bring the health department’s computers into the city’s mainframe system to improve accountability and security, the mayor said.

The conversion would take about two months and cost about $22,782 the first year, $15,687 in one-time expenses and about $7,100 in annual upkeep, said Rick Deak, administrator of the city’s computer network.

Deak said benefits to the conversion would be hardware and software support and maintenance; monitoring anti-virus software; ensuring the integrity of the computer network; monitoring and ensuring all software is appropriately licensed; and developing a data backup strategy and system.

The health district does not have technical support and network, personal-computer security standards in the form of antivirus protection and virus detection, Web-content filtering system, or backup strategy. The department also is unable to streamline finance and payroll processes with the city finance department.

Sammarone said if the money for the conversion is not available in the health department’s budget, the city will find the funds needed.

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