WARREN - A proposal to get at least 10 projects started in Warren that would benefit residents and improve the city will be discussed during a strategic development meeting at 3:30 p.m. today in council chambers.
Members of Warren's Resident Advisory Committee last month presented a proposal that encourages meaningful progress on developing a marketing plan for the city, improving the Packard Apartment building, developing the riverfront peninsula, rehabbing the Robins Theater, expanding the bike trail and developing the former Mahoningside Power Plant property on Summit Street.
"There are some on the Residential Advisory Committee who believe their views are not being listened to by the administration or council," Councilman John Brown, D-3rd Ward, said on Saturday. "So I suggested the committee has its next meeting in council chambers, and I would invite other council members and the city to the meeting."
In its December presentation to the city, committee members said they are not trying to commit the city to particular projects, rather ensure accountability for the projects it commits to doing. It requested the administration act on the plan within 60 days.
Mayor Doug Franklin last month suggested he was interested in seeing what the city could do accomplish some of the goals in the committee's proposal.
George Piscsalko, zoning and planning coordinator with the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, and one of the authors of the proposal says he is looking forward to the mayor handing out tasks.
"He is going to hold people accountable in getting thing accomplished," Piscsalko said. "The mayor has been very responsive to the suggestions in the plan."
Piscsalko, who last week was elected as president of Main Street Warren, says the volunteer organization also will work to get some aspects of the committee's plan accomplished.
"We will be using information developed by the city's data processing department to promote downtown living," Piscsalko said. "The mayor wants us to meet with new business owners, give them a tour of the city and show them success stories of how some buildings have been remodeled and put to use."
On its own, Main Street Warren will be doing project with David Grohl Alley, developing a commercial building inventory, surveying places ready to lease or buy, as well as other activities that will highlight opportunities in the downtown area.
"Developing a strong central city will help develop a stronger city," Piscsalko said.
Councilman Greg Bartholomew, D-4th Ward, one of the writers of the plan and a businessman, says they hope the successful completion of these projects will help make the downtown area a destination location.
"We want to get more people coming downtown for a variety of reasons," Bartholomew said. "Not just to buy a watch from Thom Duma or Gene's Jewelers or go to a local restaurant like Saratoga. We want people coming here for concerts, visit friends in apartments or other businesses. We want diverse people coming for a variety of reasons. We want more walking traffic."