The money will help to fix flooding and sewage problems.
By ROGER G. SMITH
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- A walking path between neighboring Beloit and Sebring should become less muddy and safer to navigate in the coming year.
New storm sewers and sidewalks in Beloit are among a few modest projects -- though not so little to the small outlying Mahoning County communities they improve -- that $531,000 in federal Community Development Block Grants will fund, in part.
The federal money is paired with other grants and local contributions to create more than $2 million in improvements. The work ranges from new waterlines in Petersburg to new sewers in Ellsworth Township.
Mahoning County commissioners recently distributed this year's allocations. The money is for low- and moderate-income areas in Mahoning County outside the cities of Youngstown, Campbell or Struthers.
Communities pitched about a dozen projects to commissioners, said Suzanne Barbati, Mahoning County special projects supervisor. Commissioners balanced the amount of available funding and the effect the projects would have on communities in making the selections, she said.
For example, $45,000 in grants will improve the quality of life for residents on the Beloit-Sebring line, said Mary McNatt, a Beloit councilwoman.
Any significant rain creates water holes and mud in the Fifth Street area, she said. Businesses see water leaking into their buildings and standing water lingers whenever there is a heavy rain, she said. The new storm sewer should fix that.
Meanwhile, new sidewalks will leave a clear path for those who walk between Beloit and Sebring, McNatt said.
The connection between the two communities and a nearby plaza turns to mud in the rain and gets slippery in the winter, she said.
A $90,800 grant in Ellsworth Township will help eliminate sewage leaking from septic systems and into ditches, said township Trustee Doug Gedra. The project also will prevent sewage from making its way into Meander Creek, which is largely fed from Ellsworth, Gedra said.
"I think it will help our community," he said.
All the projects are scheduled to be completed by December 2006.
The projects are:
UA $155,000 grant toward replacing about 1,700 feet of inadequate waterline on Pennsylvania Avenue in Sebring and resurfacing the road from 15th to 12th streets. The total project cost wasn't available. The project will serve 29 households.
UA $150,000 grant for a $1.05 million project to extend water service to Petersburg in Springfield Township. The wells in the area have high rates of bacterial contamination. The project will serve about 164 households.
UA $90,800 grant for a $871,400 project to extend sanitary sewer service in Ellsworth Township. The sewer line will extend from the sewage treatment plant on state Route 45 north to Ellsworth Elementary and east along U.S Route 224 to the Ellsworth Cemetery. The project will serve about 34 households.
UA $45,000 grant for the $90,200 project to install a new storm sewer in Beloit to alleviate flooding problems on Fifth Street and new sidewalks. The project will serve about 190 households.
Administration costs were $90,200 among the four projects, leaving $440,800 for construction.