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Streets to close for EuroGyro repair

SALEM

Permanent repairs to the EuroGyro building will begin Friday, with portions of West State Street and North Ellsworth Avenue to be closed beginning May 26, which is next Tuesday.

Salem City Service/Safety Director Ken Kenst announced the street closings during the city council meeting via Zoom Tuesday night, noting he had just been notified that afternoon.

State Street likely will be down to one lane near the building Friday, with traffic control by the police department, then the closing will occur next week.

Kenst said West State Street will be closed from Howard Avenue to Ellsworth Avenue, with access to Consumers National Bank, AutoZone and Speedway. North Ellsworth Avenue will be closed from State Street to Second Street. Truck traffic will be detoured via Dodge Drive and Pershing from the west and Southeast Boulevard and Pershing from the east.

Neither Kenst nor Salem Fire Chief Scott Mason had a timetable for how long the work will take or how long the streets will be closed.

Both, though, said they’re glad to hear the project is going forward since the end result will lead to the reopening of the restaurant.

Mason entered the building Tuesday and spoke with structural engineer Dillon Fitzgerald of Ohlin & Reed Inc., the Akron firm overseeing the project for building and EuroGyro owner George Istocki. Mason had Dillon on a conference call so he could see what the chief was seeing.

The chief wanted to see if there was any evidence of the building moving since a contractor did work to stabilize the structure.

“It doesn’t look like anything has moved since they stabilized it,” Mason said when contacted by phone.

He also spoke briefly with the contractor on Tuesday. Revised plans for the project received approval from the state at the end of March, calling for structural repair of the roof truss and/or rafter system, masonry wall and foundation with structural work only. The plans said roof replacement will include a new metal roof, repairs of decorative trim, such as corbels and replacement of all soffit and fasci.

The work will require inspection by the structural engineer and the state before a certificate allowing occupancy will be issued.

The project had gone out to bid in February.

The restaurant and building have been closed since Nov. 14 when fire department personnel noticed a separation between the south wall and an interior wall on the third floor after responding to an alarm report, raising a concern with the building’s stability. Both State Street and Ellsworth ended up closed for an extended time as a precaution due to the building’s instability. Once the building was stabilized, the streets reopened.

The restaurant opened a year ago and had just celebrated a ribbon-cutting before being forced to close. Two tenants in upstairs apartments also had to vacate the building.

In council matters, Councilwoman Cyndi Baronzzi Dickey questioned city Auditor Betty Brothers on what she was forecasting for the city’s revenue due to expected losses from COVID-19 with businesses shut down and some people not working.

Brothers said it’s too early to tell, advising she’ll have a better idea after the tax filing deadline, which was extended to July. City Treasurer K. Bret Apple said the same, saying that as of April, the income tax revenue was in pretty good shape, but they need more time to get a clear picture.

“I don’t think you want guesses,” he said.

Dickey commented about the city having street projects starting and a need to know if the funding is available, but Brothers said those projects are already covered.

In her report, Brothers said the city’s liability insurance reimbursed the city for $1,000 that went toward personal protection equipment and that the Bureau of Workers Compensation was sending out non-medical face coverings to all public and private employers who pay into the BWC. For the gasoline tax, she said there was a $6,000 loss but the amount received was still $10,000 more than what the city used to receive before the state increased the tax. The amount received was $47,493.

In a routine matter, council held first reading on an ordinance to approve the alternate method of apportionment for the Local Government Funds for 2021.

Meetings announced include Salem Utilities Commission at 4 p.m. Thursday in city council chambers and Committee of the Whole of city council at 6:15 p.m. June 2 via Zoom regarding the Designated Outdoor Recreation Area application. The meeting will be followed by the regular council meeting at 7 p.m. June 2 via Zoom.

mgreier@salemnews.net

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