City Approves Planning Funds for Downtown Wayfinding Signage

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – During its regular meeting Thursday, the Youngstown Board of Control approved paying $13,500 to Guide Studios in Cleveland to assist with planning for pedestrian wayfinding signage and kiosks downtown.

The city will be reimbursed by Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, which the board voted to accept a $10,000 planning grant from. The $3,500 match for the grant will come from Economic Action Group, which provides economic development and entrepreneurship assistance to the city.

Guide Studios previously worked with the city on vehicular directional signage for downtown.

The signs will improve the central business district’s walkability and help guide visitors to downtown venues, said Nick Chretien, EAG program manager.

Since the vehicular directional signage was installed, several assets have been added to the downtown, including the Raymond John Wean Foundation Amphitheatre and the Youngstown Business Incubator’s Tech Block Building No. 5, Chretien said. In addition, Eastern Gateway Community College has expanded its downtown presence.

A planning session for the signage is scheduled for next week, he said. He expects to have a plan for the signs this fall or winter and the signage could be installed in the spring, pending funding availability and approval by the city’s department of community planning and economic development.

Also during the meeting, the board – which consists of Mayor Jamael Tito Brown, Law Director Jeff Limbian and Finance Director Kyle Miasek – approved $10,000 for Laugh and Learn Academy, a local day care, from the city’s COVID-19 microenterprise grant fund.

The city has approved and awarded five grants totaling $37,900 from the program, Beverly Hosey, director of the city’s community development division. Another three businesses are preparing final paperwork for grant requests that could be submitted in time for the next board of control meeting.

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