YOUNGSTOWN — Mayor Jamael Tito Brown answered questions from city council Tuesday night about increased security for Inauguration Day in the city.
Brown said after reports about what was happening across the country and with guidance from Gov. Mike DeWine’s office, extra security was a cautionary measure.
While capital cities are being looked at across the country as targets, there is also the potential for other large cities to be targeted for insurrection.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation in Northeast Ohio did not give any indication that there was a threat regarding Youngstown, Brown said. However, there were people in a 50-mile radius who were at the U.S. Capitol siege on Jan. 6.
“We wanted to make sure that we were ready if something happened,” Brown said.
Brown said the additional security would protect government officials and buildings that could be potential targets.
“This is across the state,” Brown said. “Many of the mayors across Ohio have implemented these steps just to be cautious.”
Brown said there is a potential for overtime within the Youngstown Police Department due to increased patrol throughout the city.
YPD Chief Carl Davis said there is a four-hour block that officers could sign up to work extra patrol to concentrate on the downtown area.
CHANGE IN INSURANCE COMPANIES
City council discussed entering a contract with United HealthCare for the city administration's health insurance. The insurance is a self-insured health care plan for employees from February 2021 to January 2022.
Previously, the city was insured by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.
The coverage is nearly identical compared with Anthem, Interim Director of Finance Kyle Miasek said. He said there is only a small chance that employees will be impacted as some doctors who are available under the Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield contract might be considered out-of-network for United HealthCare.
Miasek said the city chose to change insurance plans due to attractive rebates and the lower administrative fee charged to the city.
The cost of the contract is $950,000. The rate per employee per month is $132.37.
SANITATION TRUCK PURCHASE
City Council also discussed the $347,503 purchase of a new sanitation truck at the meeting.
Blight Remediation and Code Enforcement Superintendent Mike Durkin said the truck will be purchased from Bell Equipment, which is the company the department uses now for equipment and maintenance.
The department currently has nine trucks, Durkin said. One truck is 9 years old, has 104,000 miles and about 11,000 hours of operation.
“I would like to start with replacing that truck, and then every year or every couple [of] years try to work a new truck in,” Durkin said.
Durkin said all the trucks are similar in age and usage, so similar parts are breaking at the same time. He wants to stagger the replacement of the trucks so the department does not have these problems on a regular basis.
The trucks have a regular maintenance schedule to help avoid problems. The trucks travel 1,400 to 1,500 miles per month and transport about 26,000 tons of garbage each year. In 2020, the garbage collection increased to 28,000 tons.
“The trucks are getting beat up,” Durkin said. “I just believe it’s something we need to move forward to simply because they are going to get older.”
Other discussions that will be voted on at Wednesday’s city council meeting:
- The city would enter a $30,000 contract with PeopleReady, a company that provides temporary labor in the environmental waste collection division. Durkin said employees from PeopleReady are used when employees take sick time or vacation. The contract is $10,000 less than the previous year.
- The city would approve a purchase order to not exceed $65,000 to Powerplan, a company used to service demolition equipment. The company provides excavating equipment, which is costly for the equipment and maintenance, Durkin said.