YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown City Council discussed several important spending decisions Wednesday night, including investments in the garbage collection program and bringing more jobs to the area.
Youngstown started its own garbage collection service just a month ago but at Wednesday’s council meeting, members passed an emergency measure regarding the paycheck of eight workers.
“We are a little bit under what we projected and we should be saving about a million dollars in 2017 by bringing it in-house,” said Fourth Ward Councilman Mike Ray.
The measure would allow the city to spend an additional $100,000 to pay the city’s temporary garbage collectors. The eight people were hired to assist the permanent workers.
“When we first started our garbage collection program, we were kind of under a rushed schedule. The availability of trucks just wasn’t there. The only truck that was available for rental in the interim time was traditional rear load trucks, which requires someone on the back to really collect the trash efficiently,” said Youngstown Department of Public Works Deputy Director Charles Shasho. “What we’re asking from council is to authorize the expenditure, not to exceed $100,000, for temporary laborers to collect the trash on the back of the truck to assist our drivers.”
The city recently bought eight new garbage trucks, along with garbage bins for Youngstown’s 22,000 residents.
“The garbage carts will be 96-gallon containers that will be capable of being utilized where the driver collects the trash from inside of the truck. It’s definitely safer for our drivers,” Shasho said.
Ray says he hopes the garbage program will help improve Youngstown’s appearance and remove some eyesores.
“The creation of the sanitation enterprise is to be able to address blight issues in the city and demolition.”
Council also approved the sale of the former Bottom Dollar grocery store on Glenwood Avenue to One Health Ohio, who plans to open a medical facility and hire 10 to 15 new employees for the location.
“It’s on a sliding scale too, so all kinds of programs, whether you have insurance or you are on some kind of government program, they will be able to service you on a wide spectrum,” Ray said.
City officials also hope to sell 1.4 acres of land on Andrews Avenue to Youngstown Specialty Metals to construct a 10,000 square foot addition.
“When we have vacant land and we can repurpose it back to a functioning use where we have an expansion of additional employees, that’s a win for everyone,” said Mike.
Council approved the purchase of two new cruisers for the Youngstown Police Department as well.