The contractor handling the demolition of the former Paramount Theatre and subsequent property cleanup said the project will be finished next Wednesday or Friday, weather permitting.
After reading an article in Friday’s Vindicator about Youngstown officials planning to “terminate the contract” because of an “intentional breach of its agreement,” William Baumann, president of Baumann Enterprises, which is handling the work, contacted the newspaper.
Baumann said numerous unforeseen setbacks caused the project at the downtown location to be delayed. The original completion date was Sept. 15, and then moved to Nov. 15 by the city at the company’s request.
The city sent Baumann a certified letter Wednesday — which he said late Friday that he hadn’t yet received — informing him that the updated deadline had passed and the city would reduce its fee to his company by $1,000 a day, starting with Nov. 16, the day after that new deadline.
Baumann said the project would have been done by Nov. 15 if it weren’t for problems with a sewer tie-in that weren’t anticipated. That work is now finished, and final paving work will be done by next Wednesday or Friday, weather permitting, he said.
A fence around the area and a light pole will still need to be installed, he said.
Baumann said he was “quite shocked” at comments made by Mayor Charles Sammarone in Friday’s article about the contractor.
Sammarone said Friday he’ll meet with other city officials after the work is finished to determine if the $1,000-a-day penalty will be assessed.
Sammarone credited the article in The Vindicator for getting Baumann to finish the work.
“Sometimes people respond better to what they read in the newspaper,” Sammarone said. “The article must have shaken him up.”
Law Director Anthony Farris, who sent the letter to Baumann, said there wasn’t much activity in recent days at the Paramount spot until the article appeared.
Baumann said he read the article, but his company was working to get the project done before it was published.