After power outage, back to business at Oakhill Renaissance

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s back to work and back to serving taxpayers at Oakhill Renaissance Place on Friday, after the Mahoning County government building was unexpectedly closed Thursday.

Continuing power problems at the Oakhill Ave. complex forced the building to close for the day Thursday. All government agencies were closed and about 210 county employees got the day off.

Power was restored after a 12-hour-long outage. Multiple blown fuses were part of the electrical problem.

The Oakhill Renaissance Place building was closed Thursday due to a power outage. Customers were notified by this sign on the front door.
The Oakhill Renaissance Place building was closed Thursday due to a power outage. Customers were notified by this sign on the front door.

Shayann Nicholas heard the buildings were closed from WKBN, while she was sitting in her car. She came to fill out paperwork on Thursday.

“I came all the way from Lake Milton, so it’s kind of a waste of gas and money,” said Shayann Nicholas. “I had to call off work and everything for a couple hours just to come down here.”

The Oakhill Renaissance Place hosts the Mahoning County Board of Elections, the county Department of Job and Family Services, Veteran’s Service Commission and the Mahoning County Coroner’s office, among other agencies.

There was a steady stream of people going up to the doors and reading about the power problem. Many would try another door to see if it would open, only to find the entire place was closed.

Oakhill services more than 1,000 people a day. Those people are looking to get an auto title, register to vote or even find a job.

Michael and Willis Williams were visiting from out of town but had been born in Youngstown. They were frustrated because they were trying to get passports.

“We were coming here to get a birth certificate, and we saw the closed sign and said, ‘What are we going to do now?'” said Willis Williams.

“I don’t know when to come back,” said Michael Williams. “I’ve got about four days before I got back to Texas, and I really need to get my birth certificate for my passport.”

Mahoning County Commissioner Carol Righetti said the building shutdown was necessary.

“It’s safer now that we shut everything down and complete the project. Get it fixed, and then tomorrow (Friday), we’ll be in full swing for work,” she said.

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