By Marc Kovac
A state lawmaker panel signed off on more than $1.3 million in funding Monday for several business projects in Mahoning and Trumbull counties that are expected to create hundreds of jobs.
The largest, a rapid-outreach grant of $1 million-plus that was released by the State Controlling Board without comment, will go to V&M Star’s new $650 million facility in Youngstown and Girard.
The company, which manufactures steel pipe and related products that will be used in eastern Ohio’s emerging oil-and-gas fields, has committed to creating 350 jobs with an hourly wage of close to $20 and retaining 439 current positions in the two cities.
The funds approved will be used to purchase machinery and equipment, according to documents.
Also, the controlling board released $250,000 for improvements to Salt Springs Road in Youngstown to accommodate increased truck traffic and vehicle access to Exterran’s new facility at Salt Springs Industrial Park. The company has committed to creating 103 full-time positions as a result of the project.
Lawmakers also approved $87,500 for the Youngstown Edison Incubator, downtown Youngstown, which assists in new-business startups.
In other business, the controlling board released more than $22,000 for a freezer replacement at the Trumbull Correctional Institution in Leavittsburg.
The project involves the installation of a new walk-in freezer to store food used at the prison.
According to documents, “The existing freezer and concrete slab are over 19 years old and need to be replaced. The internal walls are cracked, and the underground and ceiling venting systems are failing. ... Ice builds up on the concrete slab, which has now raised approximately 9 inches and is a slip hazard for staff and inmate workers. The existing conditions have made it impossible to move inventory on pallets to the freezer.”
The board also approved $158,327 for a roof replacement at the Alliance Readiness Center in Stark County.
The facility was built in 1976 and is scheduled to remain in service for 15 more years. The roof was last replaced in 1998.