Mansfield Fire Station 1

Mansfield Fire Station 1 at 140 E. Third St. (Richland Source file photo)

MANSFIELD -- A contract for planned roof work at Mansfield's main fire station came in about $30,000 higher than originally estimated, Fire Chief Steve Strickling told the Board of Control on Tuesday.

The proposed contract with The Garland Co. in Cleveland, which would use Worner Roofing Co. in Ontario, would cost $225,494. Estimates in July were around $190,000.

Strickling said his department's budget has money remaining for maintenance, but not enough to cover the entire project.

That prompted city Finance Director Linn Steward to ask for a delay in the board's approval of the project until funds could be identified to pay for the work, which would begin in the spring of 2022.

"This needs to be put on hold until we figure out how to pay for it," Steward said. 

Mayor Tim Theaker asked Strickling to get a legal opinion from the city law director to determine if American Rescue Plan Act funds could be used for the project.

"Let's put this on hold, chief. Get a legal opinion this week and we can go forward next week," Theaker said.

Strickling, who said repair work on the roof at Station 3 began Tuesday, said the requirement to "pay prevailing wages" due to the size of the Station 1 project elevated final costs for the work.

The work will still require approval from Mansfield City Council.

The city has about $106,000 remaining in its first-year ARPA allocation of $10.5 million, under a plan approved by City Council on Oct. 5.

In that initial appropriation, the city allocated $325,000 in ARPA funds to  renovate the sleeping quarters at Station 1, converting it from a dormitory style arrangement to 10 individual bedrooms for firefighters and paramedics.

Strickling said this would lessen the possibility of virus spread among the firefighters and some funds may be left over to make improvements at Station 3, also.

Also on Tuesday, the Board of Control:

-- approved contracts with Vasu Communications Inc. and Bender Communications totaling $642,616.67 to upgrade the police department's 10-year-old radio system to the Multi-Agency Radio Communications System (MARCS), a digital system.

The upgrade, using ARPA funds approved by City Council on Oct. 5, includes 96 handheld radios, 45 mobile in-car radios and the communications center. Chief Keith Porch told council the upgrade must be done by July 2025. Doing it now will allow the department to get cheaper pricing through the State Fire Marshal's Office.

-- approved a $1,005,00 contract to BK Layer for the storm sewer repair that continues at the area of Bowman and Third streets. The work will now use ARPA funds, approved by City Council last week, and a previous purchase order using sewer funds will be cancelled, city engineer Bob Bianchi said.

After the meeting, Bianchi said construction work on phase one of the storm sewer project is 90 percent complete and expects the new storm sewer to be fully operational in about 30 days.

He said Bowman Street between Third and Fourth streets, closed since summer when a collapsed 19th century storm sewer was discovered, would re-open in about 30 days.

The engineer said grading and reseeding in the area of Bowman and Third will be done in the spring.

The second phase of the project from Fourth Street to Touby's Run, with an estimated cost of $1.1 million, will be done in 2022, Bianchi said. That work will also be done with ARPA funds.

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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?"

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