Mansfield municipal building

MANSFIELD -- The Mansfield Board of Control on Tuesday unanimously approved change orders to add lead abatement to three planned housing demolition contracts, which would result in greater reimbursements from the State of Ohio.

The lead abatement work at the six sites covered by the contracts will add an additional cost of $41,000, but will result in $150,000 coming back from the state, according to Marc Milliron, the city's building codes and permits manager.

The properties are located at 444 Reed St., 573-575 Bowman St., 93-95 Franklin St., 105 Franklin St., 303 Newman St. and 308 Wayne St.

The city will be reimbursed $25,000 for each lead abatement project, Milliron said, adding that additional topsoil must be removed from each, increasing the cost charged by the contractors.

To qualify for the reimbursement, the work must be completed by the end of the state's fiscal year, which is June 30, according to Milliron.

The control board also approved demolitions at six additional sites, which will be paid for by the Richland County Land Bank through the Neighborhood Improvement Program. The city will only pay $450 for one of the sites, which is projected to cost more than the $12,500 per demolition allotted through the fund.

The city would also have to cover any hidden costs, such as unseen cisterns, according to Milliron.

The properties are located at 345 Cedar St. ($10,000), 183 N. Benton St. ($9,750), 91 Lind Ave. ($12,300), 117 W. Fifth St.  ($10,400), 129 Park Ave. West ($11,000) and 1220 Carl Road ($12,950, with the city paying $450).

Finance Director Linn Steward approved the projects, though she cautioned the city to "slow down" on any additional demolition work during the current COVID-19 pandemic. She has projected the city will fall about 20 percent short of its 2020 revenue budget, which is largely based on income tax.

"We don't want to get into a position where the general fund has to pay for these contracts if the PRIDE tax doesn't cover them,' she said.

The PRIDE tax was first approved by city voters in 2014 and has generated about $3.7 million per year since. The PRIDE Tax allots 50 percent to Mansfield's fire and police departments, 22 percent to the parks and recreation Department, 20 percent to demolition and 8 percent to street lights.

The city's board of control is comprised of the mayor, safety-service director and finance director. The board reviews contract bids, prepares estimates of expenditures and revenues, and submits them to City Council for final approval.

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City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"