WARREN - A pair of federal spending bills contain nearly $6 million for Trumbull and Mahoning county projects, including more than $2 million to continue development of a business incubator in downtown Warren.
The funding now allows Warren Redevelopment and Planning the freedom to begin determining a location for the incubator, which will be used to hatch and expand businesses focused on clean technology, alternative energy and green building materials, its director says.
The project already received nearly $500,000 in money from Ohio.
''Technology of some type was really the direction of most of the successful incubators, specializing, that's why the YBI (Youngstown Business Incubator) has been so successful,'' WRAP director Anthony Iannucci said. ''This is a real step that would move us forward.''
The incubator project has shifted focus from one that would develop retail enterprise to energy sustainability, which help secure the federal dollars for the project.
''Green technology is where we want to be, to be in the forefront of that industry, here, locally,'' Iannucci said.
The location needs selected, but Iannucci assured it would be located in Warren. When it is, the money will be used to improve the building under green building standards and officials hope it will be a model for green building redevelopment.
Other highlights of the Energy and Water, and Financial Services spending bills announced Wednesday by U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan include:
n $2 million to increase the capacity and create an overflow basin to control storm water in the neighborhood bordered by North Road, Main Street and U.S. Route 422. It's expected to help ease basement flooding.
n $200,0000 for the Western Reserve Port Authority to nurture economic development in Trumbull and Mahoning counties. The plan would expand the capabilities of the port authority to include marketing, attracting new business, issue bonds and acquire property.
The port authority has hired a Chicago-based headhunting firm to find the person to serve as economic development director.
n $1.5 million to help create an advanced automotive fuels research, development and commercialization cluster at Youngstown State University. The cluster will focus on advanced fuels generation, storage and conversion.
The bills, which total $8.1 million secured by Ryan for the 17th district, are set to be voted on later this week or next week.
''The energy revolution isn't going to happen in the future, it is happening right here and right now,'' Ryan, D-Niles, said. ''They money that we've secured is going to help us research, develop, commercialize, manufacture and then export the next generation of products that are going to bring good quality jobs back to the community.''