YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Mahoning County is putting more of its share of American Rescue Plan dollars to work.

Officials with the County’s Emergency Management agency realized a number of the local warning sirens were not operating during strong storms this summer. Thursday, county commissioners agreed to spend $130,000 in ARP money to repair them.

The EMA is working with The Federal Emergency Management Agency on maintaining a more functional and reliable system.

Rescue Plan money will also be used for a major IT upgrade in the county. Commissioners agreed to use more than $2.1 million to purchase a number of fiber optic lines to connect every county building as well as local first responders and municipal governments to create a county-wide, high-speed network.

Currently, the county spends hundreds of thousands each year to rent fiber optic space from AT&T.

“So instead of paying an outside vendor, now of the telephone or telecom companies about $300,000 a year, we will own this wire, this cable, this fiber and be able to get this connectivity,” said Mahoning County Auditor Ralph Meacham.

Meacham said the switch could save the county $3 to $4 million over the next 10 years.