Conversation on federal funds use worth having, officials say | News, Sports, Jobs

It’s being called a generational opportunity for the Mahoning Valley — about $260 million headed this way in the latest pandemic-related funding package — but will leaders here cast aside parochialism and commit to investing, at least some, on the greater economic development good of the region?

It is, at the very least, a discussion worth having, economic development leaders and the region’s congressman said.

“We should at least have a conversation on thinking big. Maybe it’ broadband, maybe it’s some other initiative. Maybe it’s something we can do out in Lordstown with Voltage Valley, but I think we need to have that conversation,” U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Howland, said. “Something that no community can do on its own, but would benefit all communities by growing the economic pie.”

The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package signed into law last week by President Joe Biden provides assistance to governments across the U.S. on a grand scale; it’s an $11.2 billion economic shot in the arm for Ohio governments.

Read Sunday’s Vindicator to see what leaders think about creating a regional pot of money from these funds.

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