Mahoning commissioners ring in 2017 with improvements to help county

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Mahoning County commissioners took a victory lap Thursday morning, looking back on some improvement projects they undertook.

Chief among them was work to restore the county’s 103-year-old courthouse.

Although commissioners designated close to $12 million to pay for the work several years ago, they ran into problems over the scope and architecture of the project.

“A vested amount of money was there for this courthouse restoration, that we needed to put all the other things that were behind that aside, move forward and start the process, and we did that,” Commissioner Carol Righetti said.

Commissioners said they managed to pare down the initial costs. That left money to do other work on the building not originally included in the project, such as cleaning and repairing all of the windows.

Work, including restoring the facility’s iconic rooftop statues, is expected to finish this spring.

Commissioner Anthony Traficanti said the projects that directly benefit Mahoning County will be completed either under budget or on budget.

The projects also included a new $350,000 prisoner holding area in the courthouse basement to improve security, and a new $3 million shelter to replace the county’s outdated dog pound. The new dog pound is under construction and should open next summer.

“If you look at the amount of projects that the commissioners have had, they’re all coming true. Everything we said we were gonna do, we have done and we are gonna continue to do that into the new year,” Traficanti said.

Righetti said in order to get all of it accomplished, they had to be proactive.

“We don’t always agree about different things, but we sit down, we talk about it, we bring our staff in.”

Commissioners said they’ll work next year to find state and federal grants to help the county engineer resurface more roads.