Feds Pass on $10.3M Tiger Grant, City Partners Stay Committed

Feds Pass on $10.3M Tiger Grant for Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Local officials expressed disappointment this morning that the city’s application for a $10.3 million federal grant was passed over, but said parts of the project would proceed regardless.

Eastgate Regional Council of Governments last fall submitted the application for the Transportation Infrastructure Generating Economic Recovery – or Tiger – grant on behalf of a group of partners that included the city, Youngstown State University, Eastern Gateway Community College, Mercy Health, Mill Creek MetroParks, Western Reserve Transit Authority and several area philanthropic organizations.

The grant funds would have supported the Youngstown SMAR2T network, which would have upgraded Fifth, Rayen and Park avenues and Front and Commerce streets.

Mike Hripko, YSU associate vice president for research, said the local partners were notified by the office of U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, that Youngstown’s application for the funds was not approved.

“We worked hard, we built a strong team and we had a good proposal,” Hripko said.

“Obviously, we are disappointed that our SMAR2T project was not selected,” YSU said in a statement issued this morning. “We were very hopeful that our proposal, a collaboration of more than a dozen institutions in Youngstown, would have been favorably received and funded.”

Local officials traveled to Washington in January to lobby federal officials on behalf of the city’s application.

On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan’s office announced an $8 million Tiger grant for Akron.

Despite not receiving the Tiger funds, the local partners remain committed to implementing the project, YSU said in its statement.

The city is on track to move forward with a planned upgrade to Fifth Avenue, and the university and Hripko pointed to developments such as the impending opening of the new hotel downtown, construction of the amphitheater and riverfront park, a trail funded by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources that will connect Mill Creek Park and downtown, the opening of the Youngstown Business Incubator’s fifth building, growth of student housing and the advancement of Mahoning Valley Innovation and Commercialization Center.

“We have considerable momentum in the area,” Hripko said.

Pictured: A rendering of upgrades to Fifth Avenue if the city was awarded a Department of Transportation Tiger grant. Local partners remain committed to implementing this project.

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