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Valley pursues share of state funding

Numerous organizations and agencies in Mahoning and Trumbull counties are seeking money from the state’s capital budget for projects.

The $2.6 billion biennial capital budget is expected to be introduced later this month. It will have about $150 million for community projects.

Legislators from Mahoning and Trumbull worked together to support several projects in both counties in order to give them a better chance of being funded, said state Sen. Sean J. O’Brien, D-Bazetta.

“We want to give the many requests from the Valley a stronger opportunity to get money from the capital budget,” he said. “This money provides benefits to our area.”

Among the requests is $1.5 million for the former Youngstown Developmental Center, now called the Campus of Care and located in Austintown, near the Weathersfield border, to offer services from county and nonprofit agencies to seniors, youth, veterans and those with mental, physical and developmental disabilities. The money would be used to repair buildings, mechanical upgrades, landscaping, fences and signs, road resurfacing, security improvements and utility upgrades.

“All of the projects submitted are worthwhile and worthy of funding, but the YDC Campus of Care is especially important,” state Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan, D-Youngstown, said. “It will impact thousands of Valley residents and vastly improve the quality of life in our community.”

One project likely to be funded is a $250,000 request from the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna to purchase property needed for the relocation for two gates at the base. It stands a good chance of getting the money because YARS previously received the funding for a different project that didn’t materialize, and this would be a reallocation.

“This money will help buy the property for the gates,” O’Brien said.

Other projects that submitted requests are:

• $3 million for the Canfield Fair to construct a 40,000-square-foot event center to house its junior fair.

• $1.5 million for facility renovations, furniture, fixtures and equipment at the Akron Children’s Hospital Beeghly Campus in Boardman.

• $1,089,000 for Phase 3 of the Community Literacy Workforce and Cultural Center project in Campbell. The money would be used for renovations, furnishings and fixtures. The center received $300,000 in the 2018 capital budget.

• $1 million for the Stambaugh Auditorium improvement project in Youngstown. The facility is seeking to raise $5 million to raze and replace the Fifth Avenue staircase and promenade, reconstruct retaining walls, clean the exterior, add dimensional lighting to the entrances and facades, and restore decorative metalwork at the grand entrance. The auditorium has raised $2 million in money and pledge commitments from local foundations, government funding and individual donations.

• $1 million for the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County’s main branch as part of a historic restoration project. The work includes an exterior staircase, repairs to the masonry, windows replacement and a skylight restoration.

• $990,000 for an upgrade to the DeYor Performing Arts Center in Youngstown. This includes stage lighting purchases and installation, exterior marquee placard restoration, new lighting and sound equipment, refurbished stage floors, install a three-step elevator, and upgrade plumbing and electrical systems.

• $818,000 for the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center’s fire education program in Canfield. The money would be for Phase 2 of the project that provides job training and workforce development for firefighters and students. The plan is to add classrooms near the nearly completed fire tower to provide training opportunities in firefighting and emergency medical work.

• $800,000 in a joint request between the Youngstown Business Incubator and America Makes in Youngstown. Half of the money supports the transformation of the America Makes facility and the other half will be used as matching funds to a federal grant request to complete renovations to YBI’s incubation space in its fifth building including roof repairs, a freight elevator, interior construction and exterior work.

• $750,000 for OH WOW! The Roger and Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science and Technology in Youngstown. The money would be used for building improvements.

• $562,000 to replace the heating and air conditioning system at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown to protect its collection of artwork.

• $500,000 for a multijurisdictional opioid education and workforce development training and meeting center in Weathersfield. The proposed 9,450-square-foot facility received $150,000 in a past capital budget and $125,000 from the township.

• $500,000 for the Kohli Neuroscience Institute, a facility to diagnose and treat patients with neurological diseases and injuries, to be built adjacent to St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital.

• $400,000 for the Warren Community Amphitheatre. The money will be for renovations to the drainage systems, concrete railings and constructing permanent restroom facilities.

• $275,000 for roof renovations to the W.D. Packard Music Hall in Warren.

• $200,000 for Hubbard Township to build an ice control and salt storage structure.

• $90,000 for Brite Energy Innovators in Warren to construct seven labs and modular offices as well as expand a warehouse garage door to meet the needs of electric-vehicle battery startup companies.

• $85,000 to replace the indoor field turf at the Niles Wellness Center.

• $45,800 for the construction of an observation deck at the Cortland Veterans Memorial.

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