STEUBENVILLE - The Jefferson Metropolitan Housing Authority board of commissioners tabled a request for proposals for a new security contract Wednesday.
"I would like to see us supplement the JMHA security in the future with off-duty police officers," said Commissioner Gerald DiLoreto.
"I would like to table the request for proposals until the board reviews the language, Before you start the advertising for proposals, we want to see the specifications," added Commissioner Dave Hindman.
Hindman later told a Gaylord Tower resident who complained about the security at his building, "we are going to address all these security issues."
In other business during the monthly board meeting Wednesday afternoon, JMHA Executive Director Joe Costantini said he plans to appeal the public housing assessment designation.
"We received an occupancy score of 59 and we plan to appeal the scoring. Moving our offices to our new location at 627 N. Fourth St. is one step to resolve the occupancy issues. We are making our former offices in the John F. Kennedy apartment building available for tenants. I feel we successfully resolved the issue. And ironically HUD is putting new rules out for 2014 and 2015 that will see the points returned to our score. HUD had changed the way they scored occupancy vacancies in 2012, which hurt us by two-hundreds of a point," explained Costantini.
Costantini reported he officially requested in the 400 and 500 blocks south of Holy Name Cathedral property be designated as permit parking only.
"We have recently instituted permit parking for residents and guests in our off-street parking areas. Requiring permit parking on the street will help us control the presence of nonresidents who come onto the property for the purpose of engaging in illegal drug activity and other criminal activity," Costantini wrote to Steubenville City Manager Tim Boland.
Costantini said Jefferson County Probate Court Judge Sam Kerr has appointed Pam Petrilla as a JMHA commissioner to replace Les Zapor, who is stepping down from his post.
"I know Pam well and she will make an excellent board member," announced Zapor.
And Costantini told the board the housing authority management and supervisory staff performed housekeeping inspections on all 56 family units on Franklin and Sherman avenues as well as North Sixth Street.
"The inspections began at 9 a.m. and were completed by 12:30 p.m. and housekeeping and occupancy issues were addressed. Jefferson Security was on the property with our staff and at our request the Jefferson County Drug Task Force, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol was in the area on standby," said Costantini.
Andrew Why, chief executive officer of the Tenth Avenue Group, told the board of commissioners the $5.9 million energy improvement project at JMHA properties should be completed by the end of the summer.
"I am proud to report today most of the energy conservation projects have been completed. Several additional projects still have to be completed. And we have applied for the American Electric Power rebate program for an estimated $150,000 in rebates for the work we have already done that will go to the JMHA," said Why.
"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," Why said in 2013 when the energy conservation project started.
The commissioners unanimously approved a resolution awarding a $65, 670 carpet and tile replacement project for the Schlernitzauer Apartments in Yorkville to Carpeting Unlimited of Wheeling.
The board also approved the consideration of a nonprofit affiliate to improve the quality of affordable housing in Jefferson County for residents and the larger community.
The proposal has been forwarded to legal counsel Pete Olivito for review.
The JMHA board went into executive session to discuss personnel.