YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Building A Better Belmont: It’s the name of the latest project to rehabilitate one of Youngstown’s major corridors, Belmont Avenue. It’s being driven by Youngstown’s Third Ward Councilwoman Samantha Turner, who’s leading the effort to create a plan — and admits getting it done will take some time.
New landscaping has been planted at corner of Belmont and Norwood avenues.
“We have some perennials put in, and it’s beautiful. It’s sunny here,” Turner said.
But not all of Belmont Avenue is beautiful.
The 2 1/2-mile stretch from Martin Luther King Boulevard to Gypsy Lane is dotted with unkempt vacant lots, abandoned buildings and — Turner says — way too many poles and power lines.
“My dream vision is that we have every power line buried up and down the corridor. That’s No. 1,” Turner said.
Turner is working with Youngstown CityScape. Together, they’ve hired a consultant, who is gathering data, and an architect to develop a master plan.
Turner said community meetings will start in June. The first will take place June 6.
“We’ll have three just-community meetings with the people who live on the streets flanking the corridor,” she said.
Then small businesses along Belmont Avenue — like Charlie Staples Bar-B-Que and Goldie’s Flowers — will join the discussion, along with big businesses like Phantom Fireworks and the Cafaro Company, owners of Union Square Plaza.
Turner has allocated $125,000 of her American Rescue Plan money to get the project started.
“From there, we are writing for earmarks, we’re writing grants, we are talking to our local leaders, we’re talking to our state leaders and federal leaders, lobbying. Any way we can to begin to bring these dollars here.,” Turner said.
The landscaping is just a start. Turner’s hoping to have the bulk of the work going in three to five years.
As far as completing it all?
“This may take seven to 10 [years] to really make it happen, in a realistic timeline,” Turner said.
At the same time Turner’s getting her project started, Liberty Township trustees have developed a plan for Belmont Avenue from Liberty Street to the Giant Eagle. The plan will be unveiled during a public meeting from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Liberty Township administration building.