TRUMBULL COUNTY Funding delay postpones sewer line project

Another sanitary sewer project will have to be re-bid.
WARREN -- High fuel and steel prices have slowed a sanitary sewer line project at the Ohio Turnpike interchange near Newton Falls.
Alan Knapp, Trumbull County planning director, said at Tuesday's planning commission meeting that the county will have to wait a little longer for state Issue 2 funds to be released to the county to provide the last piece of the funding puzzle to enable the project to go forward.
Last spring, the planning commission had to reject two rounds of bids for the project because they came in too high. The staff prepared a grant application requesting $150,000 from the state Issue 2 program to cover the higher costs. The money was approved by a committee of Eastgate Regional Council of Governments. But the state will not provide the money unless another project that has been completed with Issue 2 money has an unused portion of the money available for return to the state, Knapp said. There's no telling how long that could take, he added.
Securing the last $150,000 will allow the use of $250,000 from the county revolving loan fund, and $250,000 from businesses and property owners near the interchange. Something called tax increment financing will provide an additional $200,000, Knapp said.
The sewer line will provide service to five properties along state Route 5 near the interchange. They are EconoLodge, Budget Lodge, a former truck stop that wants to reopen and properties owned by Ted Kolacz and Jeff English.
Project needs to be rebid
At Tuesday's meeting Knapp said a project to install sanitary sewers in Brookfield Center will have to be rebid because bids were 40 percent over the limit.
"All the engineers are saying the bids are going to skyrocket because of petroleum and steel," Knapp told the commission.
Knapp also reported that his staff is assisting U.S. Safety Gear, located about a mile east of the interchange in Braceville Township, with grant funding so a sanitary sewer line extension to the plant can be built.
The company has its employees filling out forms that document that 51 percent of its employees are from low- to moderate-income homes, which allows the company to qualify for Community Development Block Grant funds or Revolving Loan Fund money, Knapp said.
In other action, the planning staff has applied for two CDBG grants to help fund the McKinley Heights Sanitary Sewer Project Phase II. The grants total $900,000.
Mahoning River plates
Trish Nuskievicz, planner and flood plain administrator for the county, reported the county has begun a massive marketing campaign to promote the sale of Mahoning River specialty license plates as a way to raise funds toward the local match for the restoration of the Mahoning River and its watershed.
The plates can be bought through or at any local Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Nuskievicz also reported that the county has applied to Eastgate's Natural Resource Assistance Council for a grant to allow the county Metro Parks to acquire a 12-acre site along the Mahoning River in Braceville Township.
She said the county has so far acquired about 350 acres for this purpose, especially around the Mosquito Creek corridor.
She also urged members of the planning commission and others in the county to consider becoming a member of the assistance council to improve the county's chances of getting funding in the future.
Dam removal
The county is also working on the removal of the North River Road dam on the Mahoning River, Knapp reported. An agreement was reached to turn over a half-acre of former Copperweld Steel Corp. property to the county commissioners. It would be used to gain access in order to remove the dam.
It is a vacant residential lot on the south side of the river and would be turned over to the Metro Parks board "and will make an excellent canoe launch area between Canoe City and Perkins Park in Warren," Knapp said.

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