OC Council updated on East Second work, Days Inn talks

Oil City Council heard updates Thursday on the East Second Street project and the city’s ongoing negotiations to purchase the former Days Inn hotel.

City manager Mark Schroyer said he met Wednesday with the EADS Group, and S.E.T. Inc. of Youngstown, Ohio, which is doing the East Second work, asked for a time extension because the firm is pretty certain it will need it.

The city has granted S.E.T. an extension, and work is expected to wrap up by June 2024, Schroyer said.

The entire East Second project involves replacing the road, sidewalks and water and sewer lines, as well as installing curb ramps that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act at every intersection along the street from Wilson Avenue to Route 62, the area known as Buzzard’s Bend.

The contractor believes all the underground utility work will be completed by the end of this year, Schroyer said.

The cement work for the sidewalks and curbs is underway and will likely be completed from the area of Country Fair and Wilson Avenue to the vicinity of Giant Eagle this year, Schroyer said.

Then, this year, the road will be paved with a scratch coat from Wilson Avenue to near where the new sidewalks end, according to Schroyer.

The rest of the road will have scratch coat put down the middle of the road, leaving a foot or two on each side of the road so workers won’t have to tear up the new road to put in sidewalks and curbs next spring, Schroyer added.

Schroyer noted that construction dragging on into June of next year will be hard on the businesses and people who live along East Second Street, but “from a construction standpoint, allowing the road to settle over the winter will allow for a better job to be done.”

He explained that with all the lines being replaced, there will likely be sinkage, so if the road sits unpaved over the winter it could be monitored for sinkage and leaks and then paved in the spring after the ground has settled.

Latest on Days Inn

Meanwhile, the city continues to be in talks with the Shah family about purchasing the former Days Inn, Schroyer said.

The sale was supposed to close Aug. 31, but changes in the contract’s language were proposed by the Shah family, which owns the hotel, so the city and the Shahs are going back and forth on the language, but the “sales agreement is still in principal,” Schroyer said.

Schroyer said he recently had a discussion with a member of the Shah family and the family is still amenable and ready to sell.

Schroyer mentioned several times at the meeting that he is optimistic the city will own the hotel when all is said and done.

At the meeting, Schroyer laid several rumors to rest regarding the hotel.

The city does not yet own the hotel and certainly has not sold the hotel to Sheetz or anyone else, Schroyer said. He added “no deals have been made, nothing has happened yet.”

To sell any property the city owns, the city is required by law to advertise the property for bid and can’t just sell it to a developer no matter how much money is offered, Schroyer said.

Schroyer noted that the city has been approached by “several named developers” regarding the hotel property.

In July, city council adopted a resolution authorizing the city to purchase the hotel from Oil City Hospitality LLC, run by the Shah family.

The price tag for the hotel is $499,000 plus closing costs.

A total of $200,000 of that will come from the Oil Region Alliance which is partnering with the city to purchase and demolish the hotel, then market the property.

The five-story hotel, which closed in 2019, has been in a state of major disrepair for quite some time and has been vandalized in the last several months.