A federal grant of at least $10 million would go a long way toward rehabilitating the U.S. Route 422 corridor from Youngstown into Girard.
A group that is involved in a study to do just that is working toward applying for a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, grant, said Girard Mayor Jim Melfi, who sat in at a meeting about the grant Aug. 6 at the Trumbull County commissioners’ office.
Also at the meeting were Trumbull County and Youngstown representatives.
One drawback they talked about, Melfi said, is coming up with a $2.5 million local share that would be required for the grant, which would be a minimum of $10 million. It could come from every community, business and stakeholder in the corridor, he said.
“Everyone at the meeting is in agreement to further investigate the possibility, but where do we get the $2.5 million?” he said.
Before it can even apply for the discretionary U.S. Department of Transportation grant, the group has to have the local money, said Julie Green, grants manager for Trumbull County, who also was at the meeting.
She said the group, which is led by the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. and the Trumbull County Planning Commission and includes housing authorities, land banks, foundations and Vallourec Star, also would have to have an environmental review; finalize the project scope, or exactly what will be included in the revitalized corridor; have money for engineering; and prepare an engineering schedule.
She said the deadline for this year’s TIGER applications was in April, and she does not know next year’s deadline.
The corridor, which includes industries, small businesses and neighborhoods, is bounded by Liberty Street in Girard to the north, Belmont Avenue in Liberty to the east, state Route 711 in Youngstown to the south and Meridian Road in Youngstown to the west. It gets a face-lift in a $146,745 study presented in February by Interface Studio, a Philadelphia-based urban-design and planning firm.
The proposal includes increased industrial areas, more lighting, medians, sidewalks, bike paths and improvements for neighborhoods.
Green said these political subdivisions and entities have been involved in the corridor effort: Girard, Youngstown, Trumbull County, Trumbull County Housing Authority, Trumbull County Land Bank, Western Reserve Port Authority, Mahoning County Land Bank, Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority, Raymond John Wean Foundation, Youngstown Foundation, Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley and the Community Foundation of Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, all funding partners for the study.