As father time chips away at Youngstown's decrepit police and fire headquarters buildings, city council and Mayor Brown continue chipping away at a solution.

An emergency measure on Wednesday's council agenda would've set aside $3 million in ARP money to hire an architect for the proposed facility.
But the body decided that was putting the cart before the horse.

"I don't think we should, that if we commit to $3 million and then say 'never mind', I don't want to see that happen," said Sixth Ward councilwoman Anita Davis during discussion at the finance committee meeting.

"Committing to $3 million, we won't say 'never mind'," First Ward councilman Julius Oliver responded, to which Davis replied "well that's just it, this vote would be a commitment one way or the other."

Strollo Architects did a conceptual rendering of a $45 million facility to house both the police and fire departments, along with a dispatch center, in December.
But that's all the city has to go on for now.

"We have the rendering but now we're going to get into...why the square footage will cost what it will, so we need those services (of an architectural firm) to continue the process moving forward," said Mayor Tito Brown.

Council members also disagreed on the proposed location near Wick Park.

"If we saw that all spelled out, I'd want a selection committee looking at all those things you talked about, if I had that in front of me I'd be definitely on board," said Fourth Ward councilman Mike Ray.

In the end, council voted to send the measure to a second reading.

"We said rather than defeat it today, we'll get more information from administration at the next meeting and get some clarity on the language," Davis said after the meeting, adding that the acknowledges the need for new facilities, but that the proposed one is too elaborate.

Davis also alluded to the possibility of separate, new facilities for police and fire instead of the 'safety campus' concept.

Council will consider the second reading of the architect measure at its next meeting March 6.