A portion of the nearly $14 million in new federal funds earmarked for the Mahoning Valley will be used to rehabilitate the runway at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, improve Niles’ Waddell Park, create new learning programs on electric vehicles at Eastern Gateway Community College and expanding the emergency department at Akron’s Boardman Children’s Campus.
U.S. Representative Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, requested $19 million through the House Appropriations community project funding process for 15 projects in the 13th congressional district — all of which were funded.
“These investments will prioritize the mental and physical well-being of our citizens, improve transportation safety, guide small businesses to success, and enable after-school activities for children in community parks,” Ryan said in a statement. Press. “Hospitals, schools, government agencies and nonprofits that have requested this money will use it to put people to work, provide better health and education benefits, and expand our infrastructure to deliver a better quality of life for all.”
Of the total funding, $13.8 million is for eight projects in Mahoning and Trumbull counties:
Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport in the Canton of Vienna
Western Reserve Port Authority, which operates the Youngstown Airport and Air Reserve Station, is set to receive $5 million to resurface a third of the airport’s 9,000ft runway – which is now in ” poor” condition – upgrade its drainage system and add mandatory pavement markings.
The project is expected to attract new commercial and cargo services to the airport and support the future sustainability of the airport, which employs 1,900 people and has an annual impact of $140 million on the region’s economy.
“This investment is essential to promote the longevity of our most valuable asset and will [the airport] to continue to portray itself as a hub for commercial and general aviation, as well as 910th Airlift Wing military operations, which are critical to national security,” Port Authority Executive Director Anthony Trevena is quoted as saying. in the press release.
Waddell Park in Niles
The City of Niles is set to receive $2.5 million for various park improvements at 213 Sharkey Drive.
They include a new splash water park with gazebo and comfort station toilets; an accessible playground; an “overhaul” of water and sanitation systems to remedy deficiencies; new artificial turf for the fields; fencing; and asphalt repairs.
Although the park is “essential public infrastructure” in the city, it has faced “decades of disinvestment and inadequate maintenance” as the city has aged, the statement said. It now has “serious infrastructure challenges”.
“These improvements will serve to enrich the quality of life for our citizens,” Niles Mayor Steve Mientkiewicz said in a statement. “This is great news for the city as we continue our efforts to build a vibrant park system.”
Akron Children’s Hospital Beeghly Campus in Boardman
The valley’s only pediatric hospital is set to receive $2 million for renovations to expand its emergency department.
The expansion would increase its footprint from 8,300 square feet to 30,800 square feet, create six new bedrooms for a total of 23, and include space for six more bedrooms. It would also create 20 full-time jobs.
The number of patient visits to the hospital has increased steadily since 2008 and its emergency room visits have doubled over the past 25 years, the statement said.
“Every day, we exceed the capacity for which our emergency room was designed. Federal funding, along with private donations, will help us better serve children in the Valley who are ill, injured, and in emotional and behavioral crisis,” Chris Gessner, president and CEO of Akron Children’s, is quoted in the press release.
The Community Literacy Workforce and Cultural Center in Campbell
The Campbell Town Schools facility is set to receive $2 million for its final expansion, creating the Mahoning Valley Wellness and Rehabilitation Center, which would expand access to health care and improve training in its medically underserved area, according to the statement.
Funding will be used to purchase medical equipment used in vision, dental and other health care services.
The expansion is expected to “increase the number of jobs in the health sector with specialized training programs” and “decrease the number of local and regional residents and families who are currently not receiving a living wage”, it reads. in the press release.
On-site partners would include Southwoods Health and Akron Children’s Hospital, said Matt Bowen, superintendent of schools in the city.
Eastern Gateway Community College in Youngstown
The college is set to receive $914,000 to expand training programs that teach students how to repair and maintain electric vehicles and charging stations.
The programs would “open the door” to students looking for more advanced skills in a job market that is seeing growing demand, the statement said.
Trumbull County Educational Services Center
The center is set to receive $650,000 to expand Trumbull County’s Voltage Valley Young Dronepreneurs program.
The funding would help expand its STEM educational drone racing program from six to 50 teams. It would bring 44 new middle and high school teams into the Trumbull County Youth Drone Racing League and help schools and the drone industry collaborate on 20 new STEM lessons. on drones and entrepreneurship.
It would also design and incubate six new STEM Dronepreneur college career paths at area high schools.
Sight for All United at Struthers
The vision care agency, in partnership with United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, is set to receive $550,000 for the Sight for Kids Vision Van.
The van would be equipped with specialist eye care equipment, which can be taken to schools. Purchasing the vehicle would allow the agency to expand service from three school districts to 18.
Students unable to see “simply cannot learn,” the statement read. “Financial hardship, poverty and inaccessibility prevent many students and families from seeking medical care, especially vision care.”
Warren Police Department
The police department is set to receive $170,000 to purchase mobile forensic equipment and mobile license plate readers.
The mobile forensic investigation equipment is expected to help criminal investigators accurately identify the location of cellphones when making calls or sending messages, according to the release.
Mobile license plate readers, which are mounted on marked patrol cars, instantly alert officers when plates are scanned, improving officer efficiency, according to the release.
Get more information on funded projects here.