YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – As officials in Youngstown look for money to help pay for much-needed improvements to its waste water and water treatment facilities, a group of government researchers is in town gathering information.
After meeting with local officials, the team from the Government Accounting Office started their tour of the area with a walk-through at Youngstown’s Waste Water Treatment Plant.
Youngstown Law Director Marty Hume said the group is looking at communities across the country that are experiencing problems obtaining the funding needed for infrastructure improvements.
The tour, which also included a visit to Mill Creek Park where raw sewage leached into the lakes earlier this summer, comes as local officials are trying to find money to help pay for a huge improvement project for the city’s aging waste water system.
“There is a congressman from New York that made a request that this be looked into because it is not just Youngstown. It is Akron, it is Cleveland, it is Pittsburgh – all over the country where similar problems are being experienced,” Hume said.
While no one on the team was able to speak with on camera, a release provided by the GAO indicates that researchers are looking for information on how communities with declining populations maintain their local utilities and still comply with EPA mandates. They are also providing information on federal programs that are available to cities like Youngstown.
“Frankly, we are looking for help from the federal government to afford to help us make those improvements,” Hume said.