YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Wednesday evening, Youngstown City Council made decisions on SOBE, a leaky Covelli Centre roof, traffic tickets and keeping sewage out of Mill Creek Park. Not everything passed unanimously. In fact, one didn’t pass at all.
Most of the large crowd at the meeting went to watch as council voted unanimously to oppose an EPA permit for SOBE to incinerate tire chips to produce synthetic gas at its plant near downtown Youngstown.
“Thank you, city council and thank you, Mayor Tito Brown, for standing with the people to fight SOBE,” said Diana Shaheen, who opposes SOBE.
What council did not pass an was ordinance to spend $2 million on a leaky roof at the Covelli Centre and the traffic sign and signal building. Brown wanted to hire Simon Roofing for both projects, citing the need to get them fixed quickly. Council, however, decided to put the roof repairs out for bid.
“But also, we know how wildly proposals can swing, too. We see that all the time when we open bids. So maybe we take an extra 60 days and roll the dice,” said councilman Mike Ray.
Traffic cameras implemented last year in school zones were done without a process to contest the tickets in court. By a 5-2 vote, council passed an ordinance creating a process. But, Brown was unsure if the plan would be accepted by the judges in Youngstown Municipal Court.
“I’m not sure what happens if the legislative body says, hey, here’s what we want, and the judicial side says, I still don’t like it,” Brown said.
Council also unanimously approved spending $5 million in American Rescue Plan money for the design work on what’s called the Mill Creek Park Interceptor Sewer Project. The project will eliminate raw sewage from overflowing into the park’s waterways during heavy rains. The entire project will cost $60-70 million and will take six to seven years to complete.
“This project is going to eliminate 13 overflows within Mill Creek Park. It is required under the long-term control plan as agreed to in a consent order with the Ohio EPA,” said Chuck Shasho, director of Public Works.
Council also approved spending $3.5 million for the Lead Service Line Replacement Project in the Garden District along Mahoning Avenue on Youngstown’s West Side.