$500,000 for Supplemental Environmental Project Fund

Sep 22, 2021

$500,000 of Warren Steel Holdings’ $1.1 million settlement has been paid to a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) fund, administered by Eastgate. In 2016, Warren Steel was sued by the state of Ohio over environmental issues, with portions going to the state’s Environmental Protection Remediation Fund and Ohio’s Water Pollution Control Administration Fund.

The City of Warren has a list of potential projects that could receive funds from this money. The projects include some in which are very feasible in the near-future and others that would require more time and funding.

The potential projects are:

1.            Packard Park – A new 3,000 square ft splash pad was completed in Packard Park in 2020. Next to the splash pad is a picnic pavilion and an older playground. The City would like to install a new, modern playground as well as some basketball hoops for younger children. This would include lower hoops to ensure we are targeting younger users. A brand-new playground complete with small basketball hoops would be estimated at $50,000 to $75,000.

2.            Perkins Park Nature Play Area – There is a very large tree that fell in Perkins Park in 2020 in which The Nature Conservancy has suggested the City utilize the wood for a Nature Play Area. This would incorporate the natural wood with some traditional engineered features. The City has estimated $60,000 - $75,000 for design and installation.

3.            Burbank Playground – Burbank park is an underutilized park in the City of Warren. Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership is looking to install new playground equipment in this park. TNP will be applying for the William Swanston charitable fund which opens on Friday, March 29th. They will be requesting funding for playground equipment and installation that will be suitable for smaller children. They could expand upon that and also include additional playground equipment for older children. The total requested would be $50,000.

4.            Fountain Warren City Courthouse Square – The City of Warren needs to refurbish and restore to working order the fountain in Courthouse Square. The City received a cost estimate from MS Consultants in October 2018 of $122,130.

5.            City of Warren Multiuse Trail – The City of Warren is in the early phases of developing a multi-use trail that would connect 5 park areas including Perkins Park, the Mahoning side Site, Packard, Bullhead and Burbank parks. This is estimated to be a multi-million, multiphase project. It was determined that the first step would be to contract a firm to conduct a feasibility study which would give the City a layout of the trail, estimated cost, and phases of the overall project. Funding sources, property ownership and easements will be required as well as a design before the City can move forward with implementation.

6.            Downtown Pedestrian Bridge – The City would like to install a bridge connecting the peninsula in downtown Warren and the amphitheater near Perkins Park. The first step would be to conduct a feasibility study followed by a design. This could potentially be included in the study done for the multi-use trail or as a separate project.

7.            Packard Park Boat Ramp – The City of Warren Engineering Dept is spearheading a project to install a small boat ramp in Packard park. The project has been funded by an ODNR grant in the amount of $74,118.00 with a match requirement of $24,150 to be provided by the City.

8.            Mahoningside Project – Plans include a walkway overlooking the Mahoning River, a walkway through the failed wall section to the riverbank, a riverfront patio on the lower spillway, landscaping and lighting. The total project cost is estimated at $450,000 with approximately $385,000 in Federal Grant dollars. Therefore, an additional $65,000 would be needed to fully fund the project or this could be used as match. 

9.            Packard Park Pedestrian Bridge – The State of Ohio through the ODNR administers financial assistance for public recreational projects through the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund Program.  The City of Warren has been working with the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments to prepare grant applications to replace the Packard Park Pedestrian Bridge.  The Packard Park Pedestrian Bridge spans the Mahoning River. 

The bridge was constructed in the early 1980’s and was closed in the winter of 2018 due to structural concerns.  The superstructure is at the end of its expected service life.  The piers and abutments were inspected and are in good condition.  The cost to replace the superstructure is $995,000.  The city intends to utilize several grant sources to assist with the project cost. 

Applications have been submitted for CMAQ ($238,000) and TAP ($279,000) funds in 2019.  The city applied for ODNR LWCF ($478,000) funds in 2020.  The status of the various grant applications will be more fully understood in 2021.  The City of Warren will allocate local funds as needed to cover the balance of project costs beyond what is provided through various grants.