ASHTABULA — Council adopted a resolution Tuesday night declaring racism a public health crisis, and supports equitable policies to inform its public discourse on racism in the city of Ashtabula.

Moreover, the city commits to improving the quality of life and health for its minority residents, Council President John Roskovics said..

“It’s something important to say these things and to say as a community this is what we believe,” he said. “It’s been adopted in other communities.”

Ward 3 Council member Laydeen Young said it was a kind gesture.

“I’m glad to see it presented and I appreciate it, but I don’t believe it will do anything for racial inequality,’ she said.

Ward 5 Council person Jane Haines said she feels like the country is fraying at the edges.

“I understand it might not change a generation, but maybe it will change the next,” she said. “It’s something I’m ready to stand by.”

Ward 4 Council person Octavia Harris said people want to know and hear from people about the issue of racism.


In other business

• City Council passed an ordinance authorizing the city manager to enter into an $85,000 contract with GPD Group of Youngstown for design, engineering and construction administration for the 2021 paving programs.

Council also passed an ordinance authorizing Timonere to enter into a $100,000 contract with GPD for the design engineering and construction administration for the Lake Avenue resurfacing project.

“The city is awaiting money from the Ohio Public Works Commission to fund the Lake Avenue project,” Timonere said. “I will be working with GPD on the list of [city] streets which will start with those we were unable to do last year due to the pandemic.”

• Council passed an ordinance authorizing the manager to enter into a $55,286 contract to buy more than 100 ultraviolet lamps and related supplies and services for the city’s wastewater treatment plant. The money will come out of water pollution fund. 

 • Timonere gave an update on the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine distribution. 

“It’s very, very crazy; we ask people to be patient,” he said. “Our phone lines have been bogged down.”

The vaccines are not coming in quickly, he said. 

“As a matter of fact, we don’t get much notification of what’s coming,” he said. “It’s a very, very fine balancing act that the health department is doing. Our staff is under an extreme amount of stress.”

Ward 1 Council person Kym Foglio said she took her mother and in-laws for vaccines this week. She praised the city’s health department workers.

“They’re so kind and so good at what they do,” she said. “They are a well-oiled machine.”

The city has had a total of 1,058 cases; a total of 72 hospitalizations and 19 deaths.

At the moment, there are 87 active cases and three people are hospitalized with the virus.

To contact the Ashtabula Health Department at 440-992-7188.


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