Niles considers building options

NILES — City council approved two ordinances Wednesday seeking requests for proposals for projects involving city buildings.

The first ordinance seeks requests for proposals from architectural firms and engineers to analyze the water department building and what repairs are needed and how much it would cost, while also analyzing costs associated for a new building or new space for the department.

The building on West State Street across from City Hall that is more than 100 years old is in disrepair and has long been neglected. Eight employees operate out of the building that is used for supply and materials storage for the city water department.

A second ordinance seeks requests for proposals for a heating and air conditioning service agreement for all buildings owned by the city. Several city buildings have new HVAC units and others are old, Service Director Ed Stredney said.

As it stands, each HVAC unit on each city building also has its own service agreement and Stredney said the city wants greater organization and maintenance schedules for all of the units. For many years, units were not maintained and left to fall into disrepair or only be repaired when problems arose.

“It would put all HVAC heating and air units under one maintenance agreement,” Stredney said. “Not a lot of maintenance was done on all sorts of equipment over the past 20 years. Now that we have been getting new things, it’s council’s and the mayor’s intent to keep those new things going. We want to make sure things are maintained in the proper fashion.”

In other business, city council heard first reading of an ordinance that would require all owners of rental property to file the name, phone number and address of tenants each year with the Regional Income Tax Agency, which now handles city income tax collection. The goal of the proposed legislation is to make sure renters in Niles are paying what they owe in city income tax.