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Poland OKs paying for sidewalk engineering

POLAND — Village council had a lengthy discussion Tuesday about the engineering firm with which it contracts.

The discussion was about paying for the engineering services on the village sidewalk project, and perhaps looking for a new firm for engineering next year.

The project was one that Councilman Samuel Moffie had worked to get from the Mahoning County commissioners. The village was able to get $50,000 to repair, replace and connect sidewalks. The engineering was handled by MS Consultants, and the sidewalk work was completed by Foust Construction at a cost of $41,783. MS Consultants then submitted a bill for $6,407 for sidewalk engineering services.

Robert Canter, village fiscal officer, said the total is $48,191 — well under the $50,000 grant, which is a reimbursement for the project.

The discussion was over whether to pay MS Consultants. Moffie said MS doesn’t have things itemized to warrant paying what is requested. “I think MS needs to give a better accounting of themselves,” he said.

Canter said the county grant easily covers the amount MS Consultants is requesting. He said the $50,000 is all free money for the village, and it won’t cost the city to pay it.

“They did the bid work for the project,” Canter said. “I think we would be shooting ourselves in the foot to not pay it.”

Council President Mike Thompson said there are two issues. He said the first seemed to be whether to find a new engineering service next year. The other issue is the fact the village would lose more than $8,000 of the grant if MS is not paid.

Village Solicitor Jay Macejko said if MS is replaced in 2023 with another engineering firm, it would be better to pay the bill now while the grant is covering it, so it is not an issue down the road.

The issue to pay MS Consultants was brought to a vote and Thompson, Chris Graff, Abbie Bosak and Jim Walkama voted for paying MS the $6,407.

Moffie voted no as he said he felt the charges should be better explained.

In other business, council voted to increase police Chief Don Lambert’s salary to $60,000 per year. He was making $54,600 per year. Also approved was a 2 percent pay increase for full-time police and office staff, and a 4 percent increase for street department employee George Porterfield.

news@vindy.com

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