YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — On Wednesday, Youngstown City Council approved the money to demolish three dams along the Mahoning River.

Youngstown has put out request for quotes from firms qualified to devise a plan and do the work of demolishing the dams at Crescent, Marshall and Center streets.

The bidding process should begin in June or July: $75,000 will be spent to get access to the dams, with another $6.2 million going toward the actual demolition.

It’s all part of program to remove nine low-head dams along the Mahoning River, from Warren to Lowellville.

A company will now be hired to do the work, which it will take about a year to complete.

“We’ve been waiting for a long time to get into a sponsorship agreement,” said Chuck Shasho, director of public works. “We do have that sponsorship agreement in place. It’s required for the grant.”

Of the $6.2 million cost, $3.2 million is coming from a Water Resource Grant from the Ohio EPA, and the other $3 million is coming from an LTV Escrow fund.

The EPA and Ohio Department of Natural Resources will have to approve the process of removing the dams.

Chuck Miller of the Mahoning River Paddling, Restoration Group says once the Youngstown dams are removed, “You’ll be able to kayak the Mahoning all the way from Girard to Wampum, Pennsylvania, without any obstructions,” since the dams in Lowellville and Struthers have already been removed.

“The benefit is for water quality. There’s a lot of material, heavy metals and so forth, trapped behind these low-head dams. The idea is to get them cleaned out and then remove the dams to allow the river to self clean and flow freely,” Shasho said.