Politics

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Brown Focuses on Infrastructure, Jobs at Roundtable

July 23, 2019

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Revitalizing the Mahoning River Corridor and spurring investment and job creation in the Mahoning Valley were the main topics of discussion during a roundtable discussion Monday with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and members of the Mahoning River Mayors’ Association.

Brown has prioritized infrastructure improvements efforts, including increased access to services like broadband internet, to encourage future development and outside investment. He was joined by Mayor Jamael Tito Brown, Youngstown, Mayor William “Doug” Franklin, Warren, Mayor James Iudiciani, Lowellville, Mayor James Melfi, Girard, Mayor Steven Mientkiewicz, Niles, and Mayor Lyle Waddell, Newton Falls.

“We have a chance to put Ohioans to work across our state,” Brown said. “We can create jobs repaving and repairing our streets, rebuilding bridges, and building broadband networks across the state. I’m here today to hear from Valley mayors as we continue working with local, state, and federal officials to support communities across the state.”

The mayors spoke with Brown about the need for infrastructure improvements, more public/private partnerships and more projects that encourage continued investment and create good-paying jobs.

“I am very pleased that the senator is making sure that the Mahoning River Corridor Initiative’s projects are staying on the federal agenda,” Franklin said. “Our efforts are to repurpose this natural resource that connects our communities – that once fueled the economic engine of the steel industry. We must clean up this corridor in an environmentally friendly way to attract recreational and economic development.”

In 2016, Brown joined colleagues in the Senate to draft “A Blueprint to Rebuild America’s Infrastructure,” which sought to start the conversation about how the $1 trillion President Donald Trump promised to invest in American infrastructure could be used. Some of the priorities for Ohio, as outlined in the proposal, include a Buy America initiative, fixing roads and bridges, updating sewer systems, improving public transportation, eliminating blight and lead hazards and rebuilding schools,

Earlier this month, Brown and Sen. Rob Portman joined other senators to introduce legislation that would apply ‘Buy America’ rules to all infrastructure and public works projects funded by taxes. The bipartisan Build America, Buy America Act would require any federally funded projects to only use American-made iron, steel and manufactured products.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.