Streetsboro -- City officials agree Streetsboro could use a new service department building.
"Personally, it's something I'd like to see happen," Council member Bridget Pavlick said. "It would go a long way to lengthen the life of our equipment and put a good face on the city."
Paying for the project, though, may throw a wrench into the plans, which Council discussed March 10. Several Council members said they'd like to get an estimate on the cost of the project.
Council President Julie Field believes Council needs "to take a step back and prioritize what we want to see happen as a Council."
"We talked [recently] about wanting to put more money into the parks," Field said. "We're talking about the service department. We need a new City Hall. There are a lot of big, big projects that we want to do -- and I would even say need to do at some point. But to move forward with this [service department] at this point where we are working on a very conservative budget that's very lean ... to some extent, I just don't see the point in pursuing this at this time."
Mayor Glenn Broska said the service department building has been there for at least 25 years.
"In order to make that area [at the service department] more workable, there needs to be a garage where we can store equipment," he said. "There also needs to be a wash bay. That is critical to extend the life of our equipment, so it can be thoroughly sprayed to get the salt off.
"But there are a lot of things we need to do in this city," Broska said. "There's no doubt there is a need at the service department, but I am not in favor of doing anything with it at this time. We have so many other needs. The service department is functioning OK. They are crowded, but we're all crowded."
Council member Steve Michniak agreed with Field the city doesn't have "enough money to go around."
"I don't think it hurts, though, to have us look at it," Michniak said. "I think if the [service] department knows this is an 'if' -- if we ever get the money, and we're able to prioritize new facilities. If we just wait without knowing how much it's going to cost, you can't really plan down the road. I would like to know what it costs to get us up to snuff because they [service department employees] do need it. My understanding is, it's a lot of money. But we don't know until we know."
Councilman Tim Claypoole agreed with Michniak.
"I'd like to know, too," Claypoole said. "If we don't know how much things are going to cost, we don't know if we're going to do them or not. We're just taking a guess at whether we can do it or not. Like Mrs. Pavlick said, you don't have to do it all at once. Maybe you can do $100,000 or $200,000 in one year and then slowly work your way to the end. Without having an understanding and a knowledge of what the estimated costs are of certain projects, we'll never get anywhere."
Field also said it would be helpful to know the costs.
"Let's get [the cost of] all those giant projects," Field said. "Then we can really prioritize and see what we can do. Potentially, we may not do it next year or the year after. It could be several years down the road."
Broska said, "Realistically, we can sit down and talk to a finance person and get an estimate. We'll be more than happy to submit it to Council."
Council requested Engineer Joe Ciuni prepare and present the cost of constructing a new service department building at the April 14 service committee meeting.
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