Fund for Warren’s Future awards grants

WARREN — Two organizations working to improve the city’s image and one working to improve its physical appearance are among the three organizations receiving $29,000 from the Fund for Warren Future.

Inspiring Minds’ We Are Warren initiative has been awarded a $15,000 grant. The money will be used to identify 15 local high school graduates already on track toward their careers and find them paid summer internships with local businesses and nonprofits.

“The idea is to start early finding ways for our best and brightest kids to stay in Warren once they complete their educations. Warren’s population loss over the years has hit our young and better-educated population segments the hardest, and the We Are Warren initiative addresses that issue head on,” said Marvin Logan, We Are Warren’s coordinator.

In addition to getting the young people into paid internships, they also will go through seminars and programming that help in their personal development, teach them financial literacy and, in the cases of people returning home from the military, help to reintegrate them into civilian life.

Warren Homecoming, a program of the Trumbull County Fine Arts Council, received a $6,500 grant. The two-year-old program brings together different groups and organizations for a multi-day celebration of the city, including coordinating several events at different locations of the city during the same period.

Activities include “Taste of Warren,” which is sponsored by the Tribune Chronicle, and the Gridiron Club’s “Legends of Warren Reunion and Celebrity Golf Outing.” Other events, such as neighborhood block parties and art programs, also take place over the Warren Homecoming weekend.

Last year, more than 30 local businesses and organizations participated in the four-day Homecoming weekend.

“Warren Homecoming was an instant hit,” said James Shuttic, president of the Trumbull County Fine Arts Council. “This grant will allow us to work on bringing even more people back to their hometown for a visit.”

Warren Redevelopment and Planning received $7,500 for the rewriting of the downtown Design Review Guidelines and Facade Improvement program. WRAP oversees the design review commission for downtown Warren and operates a grant program to assist businesses with improving their building facades.

This grant will allow WRAP to update the design parameters and to replenish the facade funds.

“Nothing says more about a city than the appearance of the buildings in its central business district. This grant will pay for a modernizing of our standards, and will encourage and assist local landlords to make the investments in the appearance of their buildings,” according to WRAP Director Anthony Iannucci.

These are the latest of five total grants that are being awarded by the Fund for Warren’s Future since the program was established. Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership received a $20,000 grant earlier this year for a study looking at marketing Youngstown Road.

The city is spending $4.1 million to rebuild the road, including a new road surface, new sidewalks, ramps compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and sewer drains between Laird Avenue and Ridge Road. The work is expected to be completed in October.

TNP’S project will include doing a complete survey of buildings on the target portion of U.S. Route422, along with details relevant to potential investors. TNP also will survey residents living near the street, asking them what types of services they would patronize if they were available.

“A fifth grant has been awarded, but not announced,” said Dennis Blank, Fund for Warren’s Future administrator.

Fund for Warren’s Future has been funded through a $50,000 grant provided by the city through its Warren Redevelopment Fund. The redevelopment fund’s income comes from rental paymnents of city-owned buildings, not from taxpayer money.

Board members Anthony Payiavlas, president and chief executive officer of AVI Foodsystems, and Sam Covelli, president and CEO of Covelli Enterprises, each have contributed $25,000 to the Fund for Warren’s Future. Warren Mayor Doug Franklin is the third member of the board that determines what organizations receive grants.

The businessmen each said they will contribute another $25,000 in matching dollars.

For more information, contact FWF administrator Dennis Blank at dennis@warrenexpressed.org or at 914-346-0102.

rsmith@tribtoday.com

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