An auction will be held next week to raise more money.
By AMANDA C. DAVIS
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- The city's economic development puzzle is coming together, piece by piece.
And its Riverwalk project is a top priority.
City officials, area politicians and community leaders patted one another on the back Wednesday for their contribution to the long-awaited project, which is to include trails, an outdoor theater and eventually, restoration of the nearby historic Kinsman House.
Ceremony: A groundbreaking ceremony for the project's first phase was held across from First Presbyterian Church on Mahoning Avenue, just south of city hall.
Mayor Hank Angelo thanked the city administration, city council, state legislators, Warren Rotary, Trumbull 100, Warren Redevelopment and Planning Corp. and other organizations for "partnerships that have made this day come true."
Auction: Warren Rotary will conduct its annual auction, which in recent years has aided the project. The event will be from 5 to 11 p.m. Nov. 17 at Packard Music Hall on Mahoning Avenue.
The theme of this year's auction is "Tropical Paradise," and tickets cost $30. For more information about reservations, call Stephanie Shaw at (330) 841-2222.
The auction raised $44,500 last year, and the Rotary has raised more than $130,000 for the Riverwalk project.
Rotary president Barb Didion said the club feels strongly that Riverwalk will be a part of Warren's heritage for years to come.
Several other organizations, including Trumbull 100, have contributed to the project. The state controlling board kicked in $275,000 for the project in June 2000.
State Sen. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-32nd, and state Rep. Daniel Sferra of Warren, D-66th, vowed to do what they can to secure future state money for the project and others like it.
Purpose: Officials said Riverwalk will link the historic district with the downtown area and will complement Packard Museum on Mahoning Avenue and other projects in the works, such as restoration of the Robins Theater downtown.
Improving the quality of life is a good way to boost tourism and draw people downtown.
The multiphase Riverwalk project consists of plans for construction of an outdoor amphitheater, festival grounds and a promenade.
It's the brainchild of Alex Bobersky, the city's grants coordinator, who began formulating plans in the late 1980s.
The project will link walkways and paths along the Mahoning River, from Burbank Park on the north side of town to Gould Steward Park on the south side.
Officials say the amphitheater may be up and running for summer.