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Housing complaints heard

October 25, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

STEUBENVILLE - Jefferson Metropolitan Housing Authority Executive Director Joe Costantini and his staff will meet with the company responsible for security at the Gaylord Towers to discuss allegations of prostitution and drug activity as well as illegal parking in the apartment complex parking lot.

Several Gaylord Towers residents attended the monthly JMHA board of commissioners meeting Wednesday to air complaints about what they said are illegal activities in their apartment building.

Only two board members attended the meeting but vice chairman Ruel Mitchell asked Costantini to arrange a meeting with security officials as well as the building manager to discuss the allegations.

"You should also invite the City Police to the meeting to see if they can help," added Mitchell.

And board member Gerald DiLoreto suggested the residents also contact City Manager Cathy Davison regarding their issues.

"We need to identify the people living in the building who are responsible for any prostitution and drug problems there," said Costantini.

The board also heard John F. Kennedy Apartment residents complain about the need for more trash Dumpsters.

The board did not have a quorum and was limited in any official action.

But Mitchell and DiLoreto informally approved a proposal by the Tenth Avenue Group to submit a proposal for a $6.3 million energy savings project to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for approval.

Andrew Why of the Tenth Avenue Group explained that while the private company originally talked about a $2 million project, "our initial energy audit has found the $6.3 million energy savings project would actually realize additional savings for JMHA."

"We are looking at savings in lighting, water leaks, putting in new windows at six different sites, new hot water heaters, an energy recovery system, new furnaces and heat pumps in some locations as well as some new refrigerators and insulation. We can do a smaller program but the savings will also be reduced," said Why.

"This seems like the right way to go. You can submit your proposal to HUD and hopefully we will have a quorum at our November meeting and we can formally approve the application," said Mitchell.

Costantini also reported the twice-a-month meetings with the city manager and police chief are proving beneficial for everyone.

"We are moving in the right direction and we are enforcing our eviction policy," said Costantini.

"DiLoreto complimented Costantini and Davison for working toward solving illegal activity in public housing and Section 8 housing in the city.

The board adjourned into an executive session to discuss personnel.

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