WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Warren city leaders held another forum Wednesday night on how to spend the city’s $28 million American Rescue Plan (ARP) money.
The meeting was in the 3rd Ward and those who turned out made it known they want the money to be spent on fixing the flooding problems.
Residents came out by the dozens at North Mar Church to weigh in on how they feel the ARP money should be spent — the overwhelming majority pleading for it to be put toward infrastructure.
Debbie Magos was the first to speak at the meeting. The Warren resident of 60 years has major concerns, especially following the heavy rainfall last Wednesday.
“Our storm sewers are not working and our sanitary sewers, the manhole popped up the last big rain,” she said.
Scott Foertch echoed Magos’ concerns about the city’s infrastructure. He lives on Fairway Drive in Warren and said he has had excessive flooding in his home and would like to see something done about it.
“We seeked quite a bit of money with having a sump pump put in, reconstruction of the configuration of the floor being jackhammered up, new pipes and such. With all that being said, it was, you know, well over the $50,000 mark to put into our home,” he said.
Warren City Director of Utilities Franco Lucarelli said the flooding and infrastructure concerns were expected. He wants to remind the people of Warren that the city has roughly 300 miles of water lines and roughly the same amount of sewer and stormwater lines.
“We have to take bites of this elephant a little bit at a time here,” Lucarelli said.
Warren Mayor Doug Franklin was also at the meeting to hear out the people’s concerns.
“We have to look at our system, and what these citizens brought home to me is that obviously there’s some systemic issues with our sewer system that we need to take another look at and address where we can,” Franklin said.
Franklin added that they have an eye on a pending infrastructure bill in Washington that could benefit the city.