YOUNGSTOWN - City Water Commissioner John Casciano admits he isn't even sure how old the building that houses city's Water Department garage actually is, but he knows it's more than a century.
The West Avenue building began being used as a garage in 1926 when the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District was established.
Now the city is hoping to secure funds to start the process of building a new garage and demolishing the existing one.
Tribune Chronicle / Joe Gorman
Sean Dillon, garage foreman for the Youngstown Water Department, stands in front of the department’s West Avenue garage.
The Board of Control last week agreed to seek a loan from the state Water Development Authority for almost $5.8 million to replace the existing garage on West Avenue.
Water Commissioner John Casciano said replacing the garage would be the third phase of the city's plans to upgrade the water department's base of operations on West Avenue.
The first phase of the project was in 1998, when the department's office building was renovated and the second phase improved storerooms and lockerooms, Casciano said.
If the loan is approved, Casciano hopes bids can be let out for the project sometime in July.
The problem with the existing garage is there not enough space to park the whole fleet of vehicles, Casciano said. He said that is an issue because it shortens the life of vehicles because they are exposed to the elements and also can add time to a callout situation if a vehicle is incapacitated because of weather.
Additionally, the heating system is from the 1960s and outdated, Casciano said.
''I doubt we could even get parts for the boiler,'' Casciano said.
A new garage will also save the city about 35 percent on their utility costs because of new energy saving technology, Casciano said.
The loan from the state would give the state 20 years to pay the money back at 3.82 percent interest, Casciano said. The loan includes money for demolishing the current garage and for asbestos removal.
He said it should take a year to build a new garage because the city will still have to work out of the old one while construction is taking place.