Amateur radio club seeks Trumbull ARP funds

WARREN — An amateur radio enthusiast asked Trumbull County Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa to consider using a portion of the county’s remaining American Rescue Plan funds to help the organization pay

for a truck trailer to carry radio equipment during times of emergency and two radio


“We are asking for $5,000 to pay for a trailer and another $1,000 for radio repeaters,” Ronald J. Leckfor, vice president of the Amateur Radio Association, said. “Compared to the ARP money given for ambulances and other equipment, our ask is very modest.”

Commissioners, however, are close to having spent all of the ARP funds — more than $38 million — the county received. The county has less than $1 million left to provide to the community, if all of the current projects expected to be reviewed are allocated money.

Leckfor said the two repeaters are being used, in part, with the National Weather Service SkyWarn Communications, during times of emergency, such as severe weather, large fires, flooding, high wind, snow and icing events which are all extreme temperature situations.

During times of severe weather, amateur radio operators gather information regarding weather occurrences such as thunderstorms, tornadoes, floods and high wind damage reports, in real time, to direct this information to authorities such as emergency services and the National Weather Service, he noted.

The group recently purchased a trailer to move its radio equipment.

“We want to use the $5,000 to pay for the trailer,” Leckfor said.

There are between 40 and 50 active members of the Warren Amateur Radio Association.

Trumbull received a total of $38,557,293.88 in ARP money from the federal government. It has allocated or promised to use $26,141,215.32 of the money for projects. An additional $7,045,756.75 from an ARP category called revenue replacement has been allocated.

The commissioners are expecting to review $4,457,731 worth of additional projects that are on their yes sheet. This is a group of projects the commissioners have said they are willing to support, if the ARP applicants meet all government guidelines for funding.

There are eight applications being reviewed, including requests from the Leavittsburg Train Station Gallery, the Kilar Foundation for a Coalburg Lake Dam Study, the Veterans Outreach Center, a request for an ambulance from Bristol, generators for Kinsman township, a new roof and painting for Hubbard Historical Society and signs for Johnston and Kinsman townships, according to County Auditor Martha Yoder.

Warren Township Fire Department on Tuesday requested the commissioners consider providing ARP funds for a new ambulance. It is projected to cost $170,000.

Cantalamessa accepted the information for the ambulance request, but emphasized that at least two commissioners are needed to give approval to move it forward to the next phase of consideration.

Although commissioners have approved several requests for new ambulances, Cantalamessa warned communities they must be able to prove the need is based on COVID-19 related losses. At least two other requests for ambulances have been rejected.

The county only has $912,590.38 left to spend, if all of the requests already allocated or are under consideration are approved.

Have an interesting news story? Contact Raymond Smith by email at rsmith@tribtoday.com. Follow us on X, formerly Twitter, @TribToday.


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