YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A new comprehensive plan was unveiled Friday afternoon with a wide range of recommendations to improve the U.S. 422 corridor near the Youngstown and Girard border.
The plan took more than a year to develop and focuses on identifying key opportunities for new and existing businesses and utilizing natural assets such as the Mahoning River and Mill Creek Park. But it starts with cleaning up the area and stabilizing residential areas.
“That’s everything from maybe litter pickups to start on a smaller scale into building and zoning issues, blight and ultimately up to economic development and infrastructure improvements, utility improvements for further industrial and economic development,” said John Rossi of the Regional Chamber.
Chamber officials hope to remove the clutter and turn the corridor into a park-like setting. As part of the plan, the Mahoning River, Mill Creek Park and the Western Reserve Greenway Bike Trail are essential to attracting new business.
“Very important not only for recreational opportunities, but to bring that natural aesthetic up to the vantage point of the road and highway,” Rossi said.
The total price tag to make all the improvements could run up to nearly $41 million over the next 10 years. Officials with the Regional Chamber said they will submit the plan, and state and federal grants will help fund the projects.
“Then they start piggybacking each other and then they continue and that is how the plan gets done. It will not happen overnight, we know that. But you know what? It took 30 years for some development to happen,” said Girard Mayor Jim Melfi.
To see the complete plan, click here.