YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Six of the seven Youngstown City Council members were part of a town hall meeting Thursday night to talk about how city government works and to listen to the people.

They talked about how to get things done and how it’s sometimes a struggle to get things done. The spending of American Rescue Plan money also came up.

Part of the meeting at the Covelli Centre was about who to contact when there’s a problem.

“Most of the responsibility of operating the city fall under the mayor’s office and their administrative functions,” said Councilman Mike Ray.

Mary Krupa was among the Youngstown residents who spoke.

“You or citizens or everybody works to pass the bill and then it’s very frustrating when it’s not implemented the way it was written,” Krupa said.

Fifth Ward Councilwoman Lauren McNally told of how sewage had backed up in some basements in her ward. To get the people help, she used the people.

“I had to get the residents who were affected to come to the meetings and apply that pressure,” McNally said.

“They get to decide whether my grant application moves forward,” said Derrick McDowell, owner of the Youngstown Flea.

McDowell says the pressure he’s put on people for grants to run his business has cost him.

“You know, that’s my personal opinion and experience that that pressure, certainly, we understand needs applied but it comes at a cost,” McDowell said.

Resident Jackie Adair asked about some foul-tasting water in her East Side neighborhood. She was told city council has allocated money to correct the problem.

Youngstown’s spending of American Rescue Plan money was also shown on a chart. $43 million of its $82 million has already been allocated, with the largest portion so far going to city parks. $39 million has yet to be allocated.

Youngstown City Councilman Julius Oliver announced at the meeting that the board of control had just approved three of his projects using American Rescue Plan money.

  1. To build new houses and rehabilitate an old one at Glenwood Avenue and High Street.
  2. To redo the park at Falls Avenue and Hillman Street and the area around it.
  3. To buy a vehicle to be used as a mobile market in the First Ward.