Youngstown residents can voice their opinions on how to spend federal COVID funds


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown residents are being asked what the city should do with federal funding called the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.

On Tuesday, residents from the 3rd Ward met at the Youngstown Jewish Community Center to voice their opinion. One suggestion was paving the roads.

“If you don’t live on the streets like some of us live on, you don’t incur the bills for your automobile like we do,” one resident said.

But simple paving is not covered under the funding. The federal government says it has to relate to one of six areas:

  1. Support public health response
  2. Replace public sector revenue loss
  3. Water and sewer infrastructure
  4. Address negative economic impacts
  5. Premium pay for essential workers
  6. Broadband infrastructure

“So, as we come together and Nick is collecting data, we take it all back and say, ‘Here’s how we want to spend this money.’ We’re going to make sure we’re in line with that,” said Nikki Posterli, chief of staff for Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown.

Another suggestion brought up was the issue with vacant houses, asking if they could be torn down.

“They invite drug addicts, the homeless. They are vandalized,” said resident Diana Welling.

The city is planning on how to tear them down in groups.

“We’re going to be looking a little more strategically now when we tear down houses. We’re going to be looking at that whole block to see what needs to come down on that block,” Posterli said.

While home demolition was talked about during a large part of the meeting, there were some other suggestions including working on some of the parks, repairing sidewalks and helping senior citizens.

“The community could pair with youth organizations to help come in and maybe help seniors do some painting on the outside of their houses or clean bushes,” Welling said.

Which has been talked about.

“And working with some of our teens and serve and getting the youth engaged and getting them some skills,” Posterli said.

The next meeting will be for the 5th Ward on June 29 at 6 p.m. It will be held at Kirkmere Park on the city’s west side.

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