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Relocation of residents and answers from exploded building are focus

Staff photo / Ed Runyan Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown speaks during a press conference Tuesday morning.

YOUNGSTOWN — Upon the recommendation of the structural engineer hired by the city to evaluate the damaged Realty Tower, the International Towers building next door needs to be evacuated “by about three days from now,” Mayor Jamael Tito Brown said today at a press conference.

The Stambaugh Building, on the other side of East Federal street from the Realty Tower, which houses the DoubleTree Hotel, also must remain closed due to the advice of the structural engineer that the city should close everything within a 210-foot radius of the Realty Tower. It has been closed since the May 28 explosion that destroyed the lower floors of the Realty Tower.

The mayor explained that the city has “taken an active role to determine how safe the Realty Tower” is because of the public safety and the public welfare of the residents of Youngstown.

“We expect to hear back this afternoon from the owners of the building and or their insurance company with an action of what to do in the building. The onus will be on them,” Brown said.

Much of the press conference, which was held at the Covelli Centre, was devoted to information about what the community will do to help the roughly 170 residents of the International Towers to find somewhere else to live.

Bob Hannon, Youngstown United Way president, said the United Way is serving as “convener” of the resources that will be utilized to provide a place to stay and and other needs of residents of the International Tower, many of whom are older and many of whom have physical or other disabilities.

Hannon said the next stop after the press conference will be a meeting at the International Towers to get a better idea of how many people will need assistance with housing when they leave.

He said some suggestions so far on where to house them are the Covelli Centre and Youngstown State University dorm rooms.

Read the full story in Wednesday’s edition of The Vindicator

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