NILES Council OKs more money

The additional Robbins Avenue work was recommended by the city engineer.
NILES -- City council has allocated more money to cover the cost of additional work on Robbins Avenue.
At its meeting Wednesday, city council transferred $340,000 from the unappropriated capital projects funds for the Robbins Avenue improvement project, which is expected to start later this year. It also transferred $200,000 for the citywide resurfacing program.
The city plans to resurface portions of 29 city streets this year, and council already had allocated $300,000 for resurfacing, said Mark Hess, city engineering, grants and development coordinator.
The transfer ups the city's portion of the Robbins Avenue project cost from $242,000 to $582,000. The original project included resurfacing, curb and sidewalk installation and some storm sewer work.
What's involved: The additional work includes widening the sidewalks from 4 to 5 feet, installing catch basins to improve drainage, widening a portion of the road and turning the middle lane into a turn lane and leveling the road to eliminate high crowning in the center. The work was recommended by David DeChristofaro, city engineer.
The project runs from state Route 46 east to the city corporation limits in McKinley Heights.
The city received a federal highway administration grant to cover 80 percent of the project, which was initially estimated at $1.2 million. The $242,000 previously allocated covered the 20 percent local match.
The additional work would increase the project cost to $1.78 million and the city's portion to $582,000.
The project is expected to start in late summer and be completed by next spring.
Countywide project: In other business, Mayor Ralph A. Infante Jr. told council members that he is awaiting approval by Trumbull County commissioners to match money from local communities to get a countywide transit system up and running.
Infante said he has letters ready to send to all of the communities in the county, asking them to participate by pledging $1 for each resident. The county then would be asked to match those funds.
The combined local and county dollars would be used as a match to get state and federal funds, Infante said.
The $2.5 million in Federal Transit Authority money available this year for Mahoning and Trumbull counties is going to Western Reserve Transit Authority in Youngstown, but that organization operates only sparingly in Trumbull County.

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