The gorilla in town is a big blue parking garage.
During Warren City Council's discussion of the 2013 budget on Monday night, the parking garage was a frequent subject of attention.
According to city officials, the city will lose about $85,000 on the garage in 2013.
Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry
Entrance to Clark Street parking garage in downtown Warren
A total of 324 spaces are rented, 20 that are available are not rented, 101 are not available, and 140 are closed for the winter, according to City Police Chief Raymond Zydonik.
"Let's close it down," Council member Chris Park said. "We'll save $85,000 this year."
"We should try to sell it first," Council member Sam Harvey said. "This is something we have to address. Can we sell it? Can we lease it? Can we let it fall down?"
City Planner David Hildebrand said the city can't sell the garage, yet.
"We looked at it before," he said. "It didn't appear it was feasible."
Representatives of the agencies involved in funding the project told Director of Public Works Mike Holtz there would be a "lot of red tape until 2017."
A $1 million renovation project by Nathan Contracting did not result in all of the garage being usable.
"Maybe we should go after the company that fixed it for $1 million and it's not fixed," Park said. "If I was the company that claimed to have fixed that parking garage I would be embarrassed that there are 90 spaces that can't be used."
According to Mayor Mark Phillips, the garage was originally built at a cost of $10 million.
The City of Warren Municipal Pool loses money.
Although council members were reluctant to close the facility, at least one idea for saving there was brought up.
"Two years ago we were doing repairs on the pool and we opened late," Council member John Lewis said.
The Transit Authority of Warren County agreed to a discounted rate for transporting city residents to the Brokenstraw Valley Swimming Pool in Youngsville during renovations.
"What if we partnered with Youngsville and only opened one pool" each year? Lewis asked. "So our pool is only open every other year."
Assistant city manager
Phillips asked City Manager Nancy Freenock about the cost and responsibilities of the assistant city manager position.
Assistant City Manager Mary Ann Nau splits her time in three capacities, Freenock said, 50 percent to the buildings and codes department, 25 percent to parks and recreation, and 25 percent to administration. She is paid $67,950.
Nau is the building code officer for the city "for at least the next year," Freenock said. "Mary Ann Nau is a certified parks and recreation director. She is also the city's ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) coordinator."
When Freenock is not working, Nau takes the helm.
Regardless of the title of the person doing the work, Freenock said, "These are duties that need to be assumed."
Junior council member
The council members welcomed a new junior council member on Monday.
Warren Area High School senior Cody McGraw was sworn in by Phillips.
"I've done my best to be active," McGraw said. "I will do the best I can to represent the views of all the students, not myself."