County plan for relief funds still missing | News, Sports, Jobs

WARREN – West Farmington Mayor Shirley McIntosh on Wednesday asked Trumbull County Commissioners if they would establish an application and ranking process for entities to submit projects for consideration to receive US bailout funding .

“We have been led to believe that it has been months now” McIntosh said about the app and the ranking. “Are you going to move forward with that, yes or no?” “

Trumbull County received $ 38 million of the roughly $ 250 million in ARP funding allocated to the Mahoning Valley. A ranking system for projects proposed by the county’s communities has already been discussed at the meetings of the commissioners but has not been finalized.

Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa said an application and ranking system was not yet in place.

“The only thing we don’t want to do is rush something that we won’t feel comfortable with later on. “ Cantalamessa told McIntosh, who called the meeting by phone.

McIntosh said after discussion at the Commissioners meeting on September 15, she believed an item regarding the request would be on the agenda. At that time, Cantalamessa said he would present a proposal at the workshop meeting before the regular meeting.

Cantalamessa said part of the delay in establishing an application and ranking system was that people from the office were absent, including himself and now Commissioner Niki Frenchko.

Frenchko was absent from Wednesday’s meeting. Cantalamessa and Commissioner Frank Fuda said they didn’t know why.

McIntosh said communities should “Get a feel for how it should be handled”, apparently at odds with the county sanitary sewer and water supply plans previously proposed by Trumbull County sanitary engineer Gary Newbrough.

Newbrough previously said county projects needed for the sanitary and water sewer district should not compete with other government entities that have received their own ARP allocations.

McIntosh said Newbrough is not an elected official.

“I don’t think he should be allowed to decide everything, and some of the answers I’ve gotten so far have led me to believe that he would like me to go,” McIntosh said.

Cantalamessa said these county sanitary sewer and water district projects should only account for a portion of the county’s ARP funds, estimating that “10 (million) or 20 million dollars”, and implied that the remaining funding would be available to help projects in other communities.

“These take precedence because you are our projects ready to go, and the ARP funding that has arrived in Trumbull County should be used for this first. “ Cantalamessa said.

He added that the money should not only be used for sewers, water and broadband, and that the county should “Determine how much we want to give back to the community. “

ARP funds can also be used to support the public health response by funding COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical spending, and behavioral health care, among other uses, according to the National Association of Counties.

Cantalamessa assured McIntosh that a project ranking system would be put in place.

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