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WARREN – Trumbull County Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa on Tuesday presented a proposal on how the county should split its $ 38 million allocation of US bailout funds.

The proposal is still a draft, Cantalamessa said, and suggested that county welcome meetings seek public comment after commissioners have reviewed the proposal and amended it, if necessary.

The proposal begins by suggesting that the county invest $ 20 million in local development projects. There are 20 “ready to go” projects for sanitary sewers and county water districts, and Cantalamessa suggests using $ 15 million for them.

“These projects are a top priority for our board of directors and are spread across the county. This investment will have a positive impact on the quality of life, health and safety, and the future economic development of Trumbull County in the future ”, the proposal indicates.

The remaining $ 5 million could fund projects to increase broadband internet access under the proposal.

“Accessibility and affordability of broadband remains essential to the future development of Trumbull County. Broadband connectivity has become an essential public service and the Council of Commissioners must be proactive in our approach. These funds will go a long way in making the main fiber optic line from the lake to the river possible and using them to mobilize other dollars for grants or loans ”, Cantalamessa’s proposal says.

Cantalamessa suggests using $ 4 million of the funds to replace lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to stabilize the county budget. Cantalamessa said he arrived at the figure after speaking with the county auditor about the amount of revenue the county has lost since the start of the pandemic.

“Thanks to a formula worked out with our county auditor, the commissioners were able to determine the amount of losses over this two-year period. It is imperative that we continue to operate effectively and efficiently through this economic downturn. This income replacement will allow us to continue essential services at additional cost to taxpayers ”, his proposal says.

Under the proposal, $ 1 million would go to skills training and workforce development programs through the County Workforce Development Board and Youngstown Regional Chamber / Warren.

TO “Stimulate growth and keep individuals at work”, the plan offers $ 2 million to local small businesses affected by lost revenue.

“In 2020, we instituted the CARES for Trumbull grant program which awarded more than $ 1 million in grants to local businesses. Now, with our partners at Valley Economic Development Partners, we plan to institute a $ 2 million stimulus package for local businesses. This plan will be made up of both loans at very low interest rates and grants ”, the proposal indicates.

Another $ 2 million could be split between nonprofits and “Negatively affected” cantons and other municipalities.

“Nonprofits have struggled to keep up valuable programs and don’t have the working capital to add new valuable programs to help our people. In addition, the local communities of Trumbull County face the same challenges and obstacles when it comes to budgets, projects and essential services ”, the proposal indicates.

The proposal sets aside $ 3 million for mobility and transportation considerations.

A sum of $ 4 million could be set aside for collaborative projects, such as those discussed in previous meetings with local economic development agencies, as part of the proposal.

“A rising tide lifts all the boats. The County of Trumbull will continue to partner with large-scale collaborative projects and initiatives that benefit the entire region ”, the proposal indicates.

Along with the proposal, Cantalamessa submitted a candidacy proposal.

In addition to the basic credentials, the request asks for a dollar amount, an amount of matching funds invested in the project, a date on which the funds will be used, a request for citation of language in the fund guidelines supporting the project. eligibility of the project, an explanation of how the funds will be used and a request for supporting documents.

Commissioner Niki Frenchko also made a proposal.

She suggested the county create a nine-person council to oversee applications and make recommendations to county commissioners.

“The members of the advisory committee cannot be elected officials or employees of local communities. Applicants must reside in the cantons. Each commissioner will choose three appointees ”, his proposal says.

Part of his idea is to assign the county’s special projects coordinator to develop a ranking tool that commissioners will use to rank nominations.

“Ranking can be achieved by assigning a numerical value to each of the ranking criteria. This tool would provide commissioners with a transparent way to select and review projects based on their overall benefit to county residents ”, his proposal says.

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