MAHONING COUNTY Council hears reports on economic development

Reopening a road could divert truck traffic from more congested areas.
STRUTHERS -- General receipts for the year are up, all but two improvement projects have been completed and the city appears to be poised for continued economic development.
Treasurer Tina Morell told council Wednesday that both general fund receipts and sewer receipts were down in September, but the net general fund increase over last year is $64,059.
Among the items Mayor Dan Mamula reported to council were progress of the Mahoning River Corridor of Opportunity Planning Committee, the status of an Ohio Environmental Education Fund grant that the city had applied for, and various improvement projects.
The MRCO Planning Committee is preparing applications for a federal brownfield grant that would be used to assess a recently acquired stretch of property that lies in Campbell, the mayor said, and a Clean Ohio Assistance Fund Grant that would be used to remediate the old Youngstown Sheet & amp; Tube coke works property in Struthers.
The MRCO also renewed a request for Ohio Capital Budget assistance to help fund the extension of Bob Cene Way, Mamula said. The initial cost estimate for construction of the industrial road was $120,000.
Meeting planned
The mayor also told council that he is planning a meeting with the Mahoning County Engineer's office and representatives from Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, the village of Lowellville and Poland Township to discuss the feasibility of reopening Arrel-Smith Road. Reopening the road could divert truck traffic from more congested areas, the mayor explained.
Mamula reported Struthers had been denied an Ohio Environmental Education Fund grant but that the application will be evaluated and resubmitted for the next round of funding. Forty-seven applications requesting $1.9 million were submitted, Mamula said. Nine were funded by the $400,000 available; Struthers' application ranked 17th.
All but two improvement projects planned for this year have been completed, Mamula continued, and the two remaining -- a sidewalk replacement project downtown and demolition of a building on Terrace Street -- should be completed in the near future.
Taking bids
The board of control will open bids for the sidewalk replacement project Friday, and construction should begin by early November, he said. Demolition of the Terrace Street building will begin as soon as the city receives environmental approval from the Ohio Department of Development which, the mayor noted, is expected this week.
The six council members present -- Ron Mathews, councilman at large, was excused -- approved resolutions "extending appreciation and continued support to the MRCO Planning Committee and its members for their collective and individual efforts to revitalize the river corridor area," and "expressing thanks and appreciation to the eight funding sources" that made construction of the Walton Avenue bridge possible. Bridge construction is expected to be complete next year.
Council also unanimously approved a resolution supporting the 0.5 percent Mahoning County sales tax and an ordinance appropriating $2,400 from the 2004 general fund budget for music in the park.

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