State Controlling Board finalizes $2.1 million funding

By MARC KOVAC Dix Capital Correspondent Published:

The state Controlling Board finalized $2.1 million in funding Monday for the earlier-announced TechBelt Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Youngstown.

According to documents, "The center will serve as the pilot in a network of national centers aimed at the critical areas of manufacturing process development and economic growth, particularly in the defense, aerospace, and medical manufacturing industries."

About 500 jobs are expected to be created as a result.

The project also is receiving $30 million through the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, with Youngstown State University providing $14 million in matching support.

The state's Third Frontier Commission approved the latest funding in August.

In other business, the Controlling Board OK'd funding for a number of area park projects, including $40,228 for a playground, shelter, ball field and other improvements in Mesopotamia Township in Trumbull County and $35,932, for a pavilion and fencing at Craig Beach State Park in Mahoning County.

The grants are part of the state's NatureWorks Program, which was created by voters 20 years ago. Funding is doled out to counties on a per capita basis.

Local governments from 72 counties submitted grant requests totaling $4.2 million during the most recent round, with 93 projects totaling nearly $2 million selected for funding, according to documents.

Other NatureWorks grants approved Monday included:

• $8,785 for a new playground at Roosevelt Park in Campbell.

• $6,218 for roof, gutter, lighting and washroom improvements at the Brick Pavilion in East Palestine.

• $10,279 to replace playground equipment at Wick Park in Leetonia.

• $3,169 for improvements to baseball and football fields at New Waterford's Field of Dreams.

• $25,000 for restroom renovations, concrete walks, bleachers and other improvements at Werley Street Park in East Canton.

• $12,500 for playground equipment at Lake Township Park in Stark County.

• $9,790 for tennis court renovations in Canal Fulton.

• $5,010 for new restrooms at the Beech Creek Botanical Gardens and Preserve in Washington Township in Stark County.

• $11,000 for a new playground in Beach City.

Also Monday, lawmakers also released more than $369,000 for renovations at Melnick Hall at Youngstown State University. Strollo Architects of Youngstown are handling the design services.

The project will include the relocation of the Rose Melnick Medical Museum, a display of "common and unique medical items from the past 75 years," according to documents. The renovations will accommodate the expansion of YSU's health and human services programs.

The Controlling Board also released $504,450 for a roof replacement at the Youngstown Development Center in Mineral Ridge.

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