Board of Control Approves Fifth Ave., Phelps Street Contracts

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Board of Control approved contracts for the Phelps Street Sewer replacement and the Fifth Avenue upgrade being funded in part by a $10.85 million federal grant.

In accordance with social distancing guidelines implemented to address the coronavirus outbreak, the board’s meeting, postponed from March 19,  was held in the Covelli Centre’s community room. 

The board approved a $229,276 agreement with engineering and planning firm MS Consultants Inc. to provide inspection services for the Phelps Street project. 

In February, the city awarded a $1.34 million contract for the project to Marucci & Gaffney Excavating Co., Youngstown. The project will include sewer and waterline installation and replacement of the block-long stretch of downtown street with brick walkways, landscaping and other features to create a pedestrian area.  

The board also approved paying $20,000 for material testing and inspection services to ACA Engineering, which has offices in Youngstown and Pittsburgh, for the Fifth Avenue project. The roadway is undergoing extensive upgrades – including a lane reduction, landscaping, safety improvements and other elements – under a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or Build, program.

Construction bids will be opened April 17 for the Fifth Avenue project, said Charles Shasho, deputy director of public works. The Fifth Avenue which represents the first of three phases of the work to be done under the Build grant, which also will include roadway improvements to several adjacent streets and implementation of an autonomous shuttle service. 

Public access to Tuesday’s meeting was limited, with only two reporters and a finance department secretary attending in addition to the board of control’s three members, Mayor Jamael Tito Brown, law director Jeff Limbian and deputy finance director Kyle Miasek. Last week, health commissioner Erin Bishop Brown issued an order closing City Hall to all but essential personnel, and city employees who could perform their jobs remotely were told to do so.  

“It seems to be still not much of a hiccup,” Brown said. There are some occasions when people’s calls don’t get picked up and employees have to call them back, but the mayor urged the public to be patient. 

He said he confers with his cabinet every day via online conferencing, and City Council is exploring options for how it can meet, and whether remote voting is an option. 

“It seems like people are adapting. They’re learning how to live in this space now,” he said.   

Pictured: Board of Control members Mayor Jamael Tito Brown, law director Jeff Limbian and deputy finance director Kyle Miasek were the only members to attend the meeting due to safety concerns over the coronavirus.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.