By RAYMOND L. SMITH
WARREN - A new ''one-stop'' city offices building probably will be postponed. But more money from a proposed $24.5 million bond financing is targeted for road improvements.
Mayor Doug Franklin told the City Council's Finance Committee on Tuesday that building a $10.5 million one-stop likely will be taken off the table.
The administration is looking at other avenues to address the housing of city employees, including upgrading existing city-owned buildings. The city also is negotiating with an unnamed property owner about purchasing a property.
In the meantime, Franklin surveyed the six council members who attended the meeting whether they could support passing the road improvement portion of the bond package at about $4.5 million instead of the previously suggested $2.5 million.
Council members Alford Novak, Fiore Dippolito, John Brown, Jim Valesky, Greg Bartholomew, Helen Rucker and Cheryl Saffold mostly supported the concept.
"With the $2.5 million, we would have been able to do the majority of what (Warren city Planning Director) Paul Makosky identified as the city's priority one streets," Franklin said. "The additional $2 million will allow us to complete all of the priority one streets and the majority of priority two streets."
The road improvement fund would be used for neighborhood streets which have not been eligible to be upgraded using state and federal funds.
Councilwoman Helen Rucker, D-at large, asked whether the administration will still put money into the general fund budget for road repairs even if City Council approves the road portion of the bond issue. Franklin said the administration has not completed its 2013 budget proposal that will be presented to council within the next several weeks.
"I don't know how much is being placed in the budget for road improvements, but with $4.5 million being placed in there for road improvements, we should need significantly less," he said.
Thomas Angelo, the city's Water Pollution Control director, said the crack-and-seal program the city has implemented should reduce the level of repairs needed on the roads and streets.
"Roads are damaged because water goes into the cracks, then freezes and thaws, creating increasingly larger cracks in them," Angelo said. "The sealing process that is being done is preventing water from getting below the road surface and damaging roads during freezing and thawing periods."
Councilman Fiore Dippolito, D-1st Ward, suggested he supports the amount being targeted for road improvements. He wanted to know how much more money the administration would request for the bonds.
Franklin would not provide a final amount, saying it has not been finalized what he believes should be spent on building upgrades.
However, the administration last month provided an inventory of all of the city-owned properties and the costs of upgrading them total more than $7 million. Franklin said the city is not considering doing all of the recommended work.
Franklin said the administration is particularly interested in getting city workers out of 418 S. Main St. and doing more than $1 million worth of rehabilitation work on the city hall complex.
"We have not determined how much we will request to spend on building repairs," Franklin said.
The administration previously said it wants to pass the final three pieces of the bond issue - roads, buildings and one-stop - by the end of the year.