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Elyria makes upgrades to city hall, police department

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Elyria has put its allocated CARES Act funding to use throughout the city of Elyria.

That’s according to Safety Service Director Kevin Brubaker who gave City Council an update Sept. 8 on where some of the allocated funds went.

The city allocated $70,000 for operating expenses and has spent a little over $64,000 of that, said Brubaker.

Purchases included handmade plexiglass barriers, which were made by City Engineer John Schneider.

“These were all handmade by Mr. Schneider,” Brubaker said. “He bought the wood and glass and made it, screwed it in, made all of this and set it up.”

Additionally, the city bought yellow chains and markers to assist with proper distancing in the public utilities service area. PPE or, personal protective equipment, was purchased as well as sanitizing gear.

“We bought some masks, we bought multiple sanitizing units, portable hand-helds so our guys and ladies can go through buildings and spray it,” Brubaker said. “We have some backpack units, portable units that are being used on our playground equipment, our rec centers, community court, police department and City Hall.”

Other advancements for public health within the City Hall include changes to the restrooms in the building.

“Here at City Hall over the last week the contractor has put in touchless water faucets in the bathrooms and flushers so you no longer have to touch the button to flush toilets as well,” Brubaker said. “We started the touchless towel racks.”

Municipal Court is expected to receive those upgrades as well.

The Elyria Police Department also saw an upgrade. To limit the contact points of a regular water fountain, the city installed touchless water refilling stations.

“Our officers go through a lot of water, they use their own water bottles,” Brubaker said. “Instead of touching their button they’re able to put their water bottles there and it automatically fills them.”

City Hall is also in the process of turning doors into automatic sliding doors.

“Working with IT and communications, we are still in the process of reconfiguring doors in City Hall,” Brubaker said. “Eventually these doors will be touchless people will be able to walk in and the doors will open as well as an aircon and key card system.”

Additional allocations Brubaker intends to ask for in future include sliding doors for the recreation centers. The doors now are 20-25 years old and new sliding doors will offer better security.

He and Mayor Frank Whitfield also want to extend the touchless bathroom systems to the police and fire departments and other outlying locations.

To fund these extra projects, Brubaker wants to take a look at funding allocated for the city’s COVID sanitization team.

The end of the first payroll is coming up soon and Brubaker said he doesn’t think the allocated funds for the team will be entirely spent on their pay due to a late start.

“Once we identify what the payroll looks like, this will allow us to project what the payroll will look like until the end of the year,” he said. “I know there is money allocated on the personal side. We’re not going to be able to use all of that. I’d like to re-allocate it to do other project.”

Brubaker said he will bring up possible reallocations at a future finance committee meeting.

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