Youngstown officials lobby in Washington, D.C., for a $10.2 million federal grant

Staff report


A delegation of city, Youngstown State University and Mercy Health Youngstown officials lobbied in Washington, D.C., in support of Youngstown’s application for a $10.2 million federal grant.

The project would connect strategic, medical, manufacturing, academic, residential, recreational, technology and employment centers located in the city’s economic core.

Key project elements include the reconstruction of Fifth Avenue, Rayen Avenue, Front Street, Commerce Street and Park Avenue into safe and complete streets; the introduction of a transit circulator and minihubs that include a main transit hub at Mercy Health’s St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital; and improvements to pedestrian and bicycle facilities that include dedicated bike lanes and marked paths to Mill Creek Park.

“This grant will have a greater impact in Youngstown than anywhere else,” said Mayor Jamael Tito Brown, a member of the delegation in D.C. on Wednesday.

The area applied in mid-October for a Transportation Infrastructure Generating Economic Recovery [TIGER] grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation. An announcement on whether it will receive the funding is expected in February or March.

Other partners in the proposal include Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, Eastern Gateway Community College, Mill Creek MetroParks, Western Reserve Transit Authority, Youngstown Business Incubator, Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley, the Raymond John Wean Foundation, Youngstown Foundation, and Catholic Diocese of Youngstown. The partners secured $2.3 million in cash and $7.9 million in in-kind services for a total of $10.2 million in local support.

“We came to Washington to ensure that our federal leaders understand the importance of this project to the future of the city, the university, Mercy Health and the many other partners involved in this effort,” said YSU President Jim Tressel.

The local group met with U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, a Cincinnati-area Republican; U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th; U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson of Marietta, R-6th; senior staff of U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Cleveland Democrat; and Anthony Bedell, deputy assistant secretary for the federal DOT’s Intergovernmental Affairs office.

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