Sunday, October 11, 2015

This Week's Youngstown Roundup

1. Youngstown City Council delayed a vote on a proposal to raise sanitation rates while lowering water rates for city residents, a move that would create a funding stream that would allow for continued aggressive demolition in the city. Some council members have suggested that the City should borrow millions of dollars up front in order to do most of the demolition that needs done now rather than spread the work out of the course of years. The City's finance director says that isn't legal. Council wants an official legal opinion on the matter.
2. The Lake-To-River Cooperative met with YSU students this week to seek input for a new co-operative grocery store at the former Red & White store on Elm Street just north of Madison Ave. The store will feature locally-grown produce, fresh-baked bread and other products. Lake-to-River is also opening a cafe called Cultivate on the same street. The area is also home to the Common Weath Commercial Kitchen Incubator.
3. The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County has announced a $1.68 million dollar donation for the construction of a new library on the West Side.  The donation is being made by the Youngstown Foundation's Michael Kusalaba Fund. It is the single largest donation in the history of the foundation which issued its first grant in 1920. The new library will emphasise technology as well as study rooms and community meeting space.
4. The Andrews Trust has donated $250,000 to YSU for major improvements to Wick Ave. The Wick Avenue project will include repaving of the roadway and reducing lanes from four to two (with sharrow bike lanes), landscaped sidewalks, placing of all utilities underground, and improved overhead lighting. Construction will begin in 2016. Wick Ave is just one of several campus improvement projects. Others include: a sitting park across from Jones Hall; green space recreation area near Sweeney Hall; and corridor improvements to Rayen and Lincoln Avenues (similar to Wick).
5. The Youngstown State football team dropped a heartbreaking 31-29 loss to #4 to Illinois State on Saturday in a back-and-forth game that came down to an instant replay review of a 2-point conversion with 32 seconds left in the game. Despite the loss, YSU outgained ISU 447-367 in total offense and demonstrated that they can compete with the elite teams in the FCS. Next week is homecoming. The Penguins will take on #7 South Dakota State at 4pm in an important game that they can't lose if they plan to make a strong case for a playoff berth.
Other notable news: