STEUBENVILLE - The chief executive officer of the Tenth Avenue Group of Aliquippa, Pa., said a $5.9 million energy improvement project at Jefferson Metropolitan Housing Authority properties will start within the next month.
Andrew Why told the JMHA board of commissioners Wednesday his application for the program to improve energy costs has been approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"We will start on the project as soon as the financing from the All American Investment Group is in place. I anticipate that will be done in the next one to two-and-a-half weeks. Once an escrow account is established and the money is moved into that account, we can start," said Why.
"Fort Steuben Maintenance is the general contractor and I am very pleased to say that we have kept our promise to this board and will be using local contractors and local vendors for the work," Why added.
"The HUD approval is probably the largest hurdle we faced. It required a very detailed application. But once we start the project, your tenants will see improvements in their water and energy conservation, new elevators, hot water heaters, furnaces and air conditioning," noted Why.
The board also approved a resolution that calls for JMHA to forward money allocated for Section 8 housing unit water bills directly to the Steubenville utility collection office.
"The tenants will still receive a water bill, but it will show the bill was paid directly by JMHA," said Joe Costantini, JMHA executive director.
Steubenville Mayor and Acting City Manager Domenick Mucci told City Council members Tuesday night he had requested the change in payment, "because some tenants are receiving money for their water bills but aren't always paying their water bill."
"I would like to thank the board for approving this resolution because it will be a big help to the city. We want the deadbeats to pay their fair share," stated 1st Ward Councilman Gerald DiLoreto, who also represents the city on the JMHA board.
DiLoreto thanked Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton of the Catholic Diocese of Steubenville for announcing his decision to maintain Holy Name Cathedral on South Fifth Street.
"In order for this town to be free, we need to stop the violence. This is a step in that direction. I believe this decision will allow the city to grow again," said DiLoreto.
Costantini reported the John F. Kennedy rear canopy replacement project is continuing.
"The JFK lobby tile replacement along with new carpeting in the hallways is also set to begin soon," Costantini said.
"We have also been told by Neighborhood Development Services of Ravenna that they will be ready to transfer ownership of the Washington Square Apartment building to us in the near future," declared Costantini.
The board also heard from several public housing residents who expressed concerns about security in their apartment buildings as well as parking issues.
The board met in executive session to discuss security issues.