Warren’s accomplishments touted by officials
WARREN — Highlighting the positives of the last decade, Warren Mayor Doug Franklin on Thursday painted the Trumbull County seat as a place that has been thriving and making positive changes and will continue on its upward trajectory.
Franklin’s remarks were supported during separate addresses given by Trumbull County Deputy Engineer Gary Shaffer of the Trumbull County Engineer’s office, which is working with the city and Howland Township on the Golden Triangle improvements; Warren Schools Superintendent Steve Chiaro; and Lisa Ramsey of Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, who talked about the demolition of homes.
The officials spoke during the Regional Chamber’s “Good Morning, Warren,” breakfast at the Trumbull Country Club.
Franklin said the city is keeping its promise to taxpayers by hiring nine firefighters and five police officers using money being generated by the 0.5-percent income tax increase passed in November’s election.
“We are working towards our commitment to re-opening all fire stations,” Franklin said.
Upcoming projects include a $4 million total restructuring of Youngstown Road between Laird Avenue and Ridge Road, as well as the $275,000 building of a parking lot, pavilion and other amenities on North River Road for the Greenway Trail Head, Franklin said.
He said the city’s revival has come from actions by the administration as well as by outsiders, noting entrepreneurs Mark Marvin and Chris Alan each have made multi-million dollar investments in the city.
Marvin, a real estate investor, has purchased and invested in nearly a dozen downtown buildings, and Alan has for nearly two years leased the former Packard Electric building on Dana Street in an effort to place a manufacturing site for his automated garage company called AutoParkit.
Alan announced earlier this week that the effort to purchase the property was unsuccessful. However, he purchased the former GE building, 310 Dana St. NE., and the site of the former GE Lamp Plant instead. Alan also has purchased several other buildings, including the former Hughes Mansion and the former Pine Street bar, since 2015.
Investment in downtown buildings also included $2.5 million at the Raymond John Wean Foundation, 147 W. Market St.; a $1 million restoration of National Fire Repair, 141 W. Market St.; a $3.1 million restoration of the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center, 125 W.Market St.; and a $1 million renovation of Best Western Park Hotel, 136 N. Park Ave.
“If we haven’t cleaned it up, fixed it up or improved it, we eliminated it,” Franklin said.
Hundreds of residential demolitions have been done by Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, and the city expects 11 commercial buildings to be demolished this year.
Chiaro highlighted the 10 pre-school programs in the Warren City School District that have been recognized as High Quality pre-schools by Step Up to Quality, which is a rating system by the State of Ohio.
Chiaro said the data he has reviewed indicates district graduation should be going up on the next state report card, while the district’s suspension and expulsion rates have gone down.
“The district is financially stable,” Chiaro said “In the next five-year forecast, we project the district to be financially stable over the life of that forecast.”
Shaffer said work has been done by Warren, Howland Township and businesses in the Golden Triangle since 2013 to both stabilize the 30 existing businesses in the business district, and also do major infrastructure and road improvements, with more projects planned.