Lowellville to begin work on more than $4 million in road, village projects


Published: Mon, April 23, 2018 @ 12:05 a.m.

By Graig Graziosi

ggraziosi@vindy.com

LOWELLVILLE

The village has more than $4 million in road and building upgrade projects planned to begin over the next year, Mayor James Iudiciani said.

State and federal funding is paying for the bulk of the work. The village is responsible for $500,000.

Road resurfacing will begin later this spring on Liberty Street between Third Street and the Stavich Bike Trail, and on 1st, 2nd and McGill Streets between Liberty Street and Wood Street. Each of the projects will receive new curbs, sidewalks and asphalt.

The project will be funded through a $98,000 Community Development Block Grant and $298,000 from the Ohio Public Works Commission.

Walnut Street also will be repaved from Second Street to Jaric Avenue. The project begins April 30 and will result in lane restrictions on certain parts of the road.

The repaving project will have a total cost of $165,000, with the village covering $78,000. An Ohio Public Works Commission grant will cover the remainder. A total of $54,000 from the village’s funds will be used to provide curbs and sidewalks along Walnut Street.

The village is also moving forward on its $2.3 million project to remove the dam from the Mahoning River. The project is funded through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsorship Program.

“We’re waiting on final approval from the government of our environmental covenant document we signed with the EPA. Once that’s approved we can get started,” Iudiciani said.

The dam removal is the first step in a larger series of projects that will include the installation of a canoe livery, a small parking and picnic area and wooden walkways providing access to the river’s banks.

In addition to developing the river, Iudiciani hopes to bolster Lowellville’s appeal to outdoor enthusiasts through purchasing the Stavich Bike Trail.

“We need to be the champions of the bike trail if we want to use it as a draw to the village,” the mayor said.

The village purchased the trail from FirstEnergy for $1 and an easement from the company to get power lines installed. Lowellville’s ownership of the trail allows the village to qualify for additional grants.

Iudiciani said repairing the trail will cost between $600,000 and $1 million – the range representing the difference between meeting state standards and federal standards for the trail – and the Stavich family has already donated $43,000.

The village also took over the Stavich/Hillsville Foundation, and will use its $13,000 for trail repairs. The total cost of acquiring the property was $33,000, with an additional $3,000 spent on a new sign.

The mayor said he hopes to fund the rest of the repairs through donations and public-private funding options, though public funding would require the trail to meet the more expensive federal standards.

In developing the river and the trail, Iudiciani hopes to draw more outdoor enthusiasts and college students from Youngstown State University and Eastern Gateway Community College to the village.

“I want to see a day when college kids will come into the village to sit by the river and study, or maybe take a canoe or kayak from the B&O [restaurant] on a weekend down the [Mahoning] river, get out here in town, and have a drink at Melillo’s or grab some food at Ross’s Market,” Iudiciani said.

Downtown Lowellville will also see some major changes. Village Hall will receive new front steps, railings, a new facade, front door, decorative lights and new lettering.

Across the street, new parking spaces will be paved for access to Village Hall, the post office and Ross’s Market. The cost for those projects will be about $98,000.

Fifteen downtown businesses will begin building-improvement projects thanks to a $300,000 state grant.

The business upgrades are funded through an Ohio Development Services Agency community block grant the village received in 2017. The grant matches private investments from participating businesses and allows for those businesses to receive 75 percent reimbursement on their contribution.


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