Council accepts funds for Anthony’s demolition – on second try | News, Sports, Jobs
YOUNGSTOWN – Having had a second opportunity to pay a $ 48,000 bill for the August demolition of the old Anthony’s on the River building, city council voted 4-3 in favor of the legislation.
City Council on August 26, 2020, 4-3 rejected payment of the demolition bill from Steel Valley Contractors, a Youngstown company, because the building was demolished without notice to its members.
During and after a finance committee meeting on Tuesday, it seemed clear that the legislation would fail again on Wednesday with four members saying they were again opposing the payment.
But Councilor Jimmy Hughes, D-2nd Ward, voted to foot the bill on Wednesday, a day after he said he did not support the legislation.
Trying to explain his overthrow, Hughes said on Wednesday that he opposed it a day earlier and didn’t think it was fair to revisit the bill, but “I voted for because you can’t change what happened. I don’t see how you get out of this debt.
He also said he told the administration that he “would never vote this way again” if the situation were the same.
Hughes had voted to pay off the bill in August.
The only member to change her vote from August to Wednesday was City Councilor Anita Davis, D-6th Ward.
She said Tuesday that she supported the legislation because it was not fair to “stiffen” Steel Valley on the payment.
Davis rehearsed this Wednesday and like Hughes and other board members, she criticized the administration for the lack of communication before the demolition.
“We have repeatedly asked the administration to do a better job,” she said.
The August demolition angered several board members as it was carried out early when it was on the agenda.
Administration officials said it was an emergency demolition, carried out by order of Fire Chief Barry Finley, as the 110-year-old building at 15 Oak Hill Ave. was in danger of collapsing.
But City Councilor Julius Oliver, D-1st Ward, strongly disputes this order, saying the structure was not in bad shape and there are many more in town that should have fallen rather than this one- this. He also said he had a business interested in the building before it was demolished.
“As elected officials, we have a moral, ethical and professional obligation to our citizens,” he said. “This building was demolished for no reason. “
Legal director Jeff Limbian urged the council to foot the bill, saying Steel Valley will sue the city for the $ 48,000, which will likely cost even more if an outside lawyer is needed. He estimated this cost at $ 25,000.
Two Bridges LLC, the owner of the property, and the city have filed federal lawsuits against each other. The company is seeking damages, claiming the demolition was inappropriate as the city sues for the demolition cost of $ 48,000.
In addition to Davis and Hughes, Councilor Mike Ray, D-4th Ward, and Councilor Lauren McNally, D-5th Ward, voted to foot the bill. Opponents of the legislation were Oliver and City Councilors Samantha Turner, D-3rd Ward, and Basia Adamczak, D-7th Ward.
“While I feel that the contractor should be paid for the completed work, I don’t agree with the process of this particular demolition,” Adamczak said.
She added: “He was defeated last year, and I don’t even agree with him coming back this time.”
The council voted 6-1 on an order to accept a $ 60,000 grant from the state Environmental Protection Agency for eight Level 2 charging ports for electric vehicles. Half will be in a parking lot behind Town Hall, and the rest will be in a lot next to the downtown fire station.
Davis was the only one to vote against, saying he was presented to the board on Tuesday when the administration learned in February that it had received the grant and several questions remained unanswered. The deadline to accept the grant is next Monday. The supervisory board is holding a special meeting today to accept the grant.
Davis said that when the city “takes the money (a grant) and works it out later, we end up paying more.” We have to stop approving it.
The administration failing to advise the board “must stop,” she said.
Several other board members echoed his statements at Tuesday’s finance meeting.
In addition, the council approved an expenditure of $ 325,000 from its Speed Camera Citation Program fund to purchase six police cars and related equipment. It was postponed two weeks ago for further discussion. The police department was forced in November 2019 to end the program largely because of a change in state law.