MAHONING VALLEY Committee to evaluate projects for funding

Officials in Mahoning and Trumbull counties seek $16.8 million for projects.
AUSTINTOWN -- Meetings will be held next week to help determine which area road, bridge, water and sewer projects will receive some state funding this year.
The proposed projects will be evaluated at 9 a.m. on Jan. 16 and 18 by members of the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments' District 6 Public Works Integrating Committee.
The committee is responsible for making funding recommendations to the Ohio Public Works Commission, slated to provide about $7.4 million for projects in Mahoning and Trumbull counties this year.
Officials in the counties have applied for $16.8 million in state money this year to help pay for 72 projects that will cost a total of $26.4 million.
Trumbull County projects will be evaluated at the Jan. 16 meeting, which will be held at the old Howland Township administration building. Mahoning County projects will be evaluated at the Jan. 18 meeting, which will be held at the Eastgate offices in Austintown.
Point system: Ohio Public Works Commission allocations come from the state's Issue 2 bond or Local Transportation Improvement Program, funded through the gas tax. The integrating committee uses a point system to determine what recommendations are made to the public works commission.
Points are awarded based on several criteria, including community need for the project and the amount of other funding available to pay for it.
The projects that receive the most points are given the highest recommendation from the committee.
Committee members are expected to ask some local officials and developers during the evaluations to clarify information included on their applications for funding.
Questions: At a committee meeting Tuesday, committee chairman and Mahoning County Engineer Richard Marsico said he already has questions about a proposed project in the city of Hubbard.
That project calls for 52 of the city's manholes to be raised above the street in an effort to reduce the flow of water into city sewers. The city's funding application states that the project will cost an estimated $96,300.
Marsico said he thinks that estimate is about four times what the project should cost. The city is seeking $85,707 in state funding for the project. The rest of the money would come from local sources.
Other applications include a request from Trumbull County officials for $650,000 to help pay for the installation of sewer lines in Liberty Township. The lines would be installed along Shannon Road, Beaver Street, Goist, Secrist and Thomas lanes, and Underwood and Ellenwood drives. The total project cost is estimated at $3 million.
Sebring officials, meanwhile, have asked for $600,000 to help pay for the installation of a sewer on 15th Street and a sidewalk and new street lights and signs on Ohio Avenue. The project, which would cost $1.9 million, also calls for repairs to 15th Street.
The integrating committee also has received an application from Mahoning County seeking $1.15 million to help pay for road improvements throughout the county. The total cost of the improvement project is $1.8 million.

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