Girard plans to remodel the city gym

By Samantha Phillips


City council plans to remodel the city gym, which is attached to the city building and is used for sports and some city school extracurricular programs.

Council introduced legislation Monday to hire an architect to assess the gym.

“It’s long overdue, and we know that,” Mayor James Melfi said. “Not many cities have a city gym. ... It does stay very busy, so we’d like to bring it up to speed.”

Melfi said the gym needs a new roof and could use new plaster and paint. He said he hopes the architect can find a way to bring natural lighting back to the gym.

Council members Fran Wilson and William Ryser suggested the Liberty Park pavilion and some other spots of the park may require attention as well.

Melfi agreed the pavilion needs roof maintenance and new lighting. He said it should be evaluated in the coming months, but with a limited recreational budget, the gym should be prioritized.

Also Monday, Wilson announced that owners of vacant structures will receive written or verbal warnings in the coming weeks that they must file registration for the structures, per current zoning laws. Anyone who fails to file registration or to update the registration for the structure will be subject to a $50 administrative penalty per day with a maximum penalty of $1,000.

Councilman John Moliterno told council the city ended 2018 with $3,558,901, which is $206,549 more than in 2017.

Auditor Sam Zirafi said the only fund that was in the negative at the end of 2018 was the cemetery fund, and only because there was a $40,000 retaining wall built last year.

Council unanimously approved applying for brownfield remediation grants to use for the former Ohio Leatherworks property.

Melfi swore in Robert Williams III as a part-time patrolman during Monday’s city council meeting. Part-time officers are paid $15 hourly with no benefits.

Williams worked as a city emergency dispatcher for five years and just completed his police academy training, said police Chief John Norman.

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