By David Skolnick
The board of control approved $369,298 for design work and equipment needed to replace the broken air-conditioning system at the city-owned 20 Federal Place.
The board also voted Thursday to pay $47,847 to Western Reserve Mechanical, a Niles company that provided about 30 portable air conditioners to businesses and agencies at the downtown office building between late August, shortly after the air-conditioning unit stopped working, and mid-October.
These expenses don’t include hiring a company to handle the installation and construction work needed to put the chiller unit on the roof of the eight-story building at 20 W. Federal St.
Proposals for that work will be opened by city officials Feb. 14. The estimated cost of that work is $1.3 million, but should come in at a lower price, said Charles Shasho, deputy director of the public-works department.
Around Aug. 20, the building’s air-conditioning system, which is several decades old, stopped working.
A few days later, the city had Western Reserve Mechanical install the temporary systems, said Sean McKinney, the city’s buildings and grounds commissioner.
VXI Global Solutions, a call-center company on the building’s fourth and fifth floors has its own system. The portable air conditioners were used on the other floors.
In addition to the Western Reserve Mechanical payment, the board agreed Thursday to authorize these payments for work at 20 Federal Place:
Purchase a 400-ton air-cooled chiller for $188,000 through a state contract with Trane US Inc., of La Crosse, Wis.
Pay $124,000 to Graybar Electric, which has a location in Youngstown, through a state contract for various electrical equipment needed for the project.
Hire MS Consultants of Youngstown for $57,298 for design services to prepare bidding documents for the replacement project.
Also Thursday, the board signed a three-year contract extension, retroactive to Jan. 1, to have JAC Management Group handle the Covelli Centre’s food-and-beverage services with a two-year mutual option.
JAC, which manages the day-to-day operations at the center, has handled the facility’s food-and-beverage sales since April 2012.
The expired contract had JAC collect a flat 3-percent fee on gross receipts. The new contract keeps the 3-percent fee for gross receipts up to $599,999, increases to 6 percent for $600,000 to $1.2 million, and to 7 percent for anything above $1.2 million.
The center had about $1 million in food-and-beverage gross receipts in 2013, said Eric Ryan, the center’s executive director and JAC owner.
The city made about $95,000 in 2013 through its food-and-beverage deal with JAC with the company making about $30,000, Ryan said. JAC would have made an additional $8,000 last year if the new deal was in effect.
“There’s no question bringing this service in-house has been lucrative for the city,” Ryan said.
City Finance Director David Bozanich said replacing Centerplate, a company that handled concessions before JAC, “has been a good economic move for the city.”
Also Thursday, the board approved a conflict-of-interest policy.
For at least 10 years, state audits have called for the city to have its employees sign such policies annually. New hires sign the policy when they start working for the city.
New Law Director Martin Hume, a board member, said after reading an article earlier this month in The Vindicator about the state auditor’s recommendation, he put together a proposal the board accepted Thursday that will now require all city employees to sign the policies annually.