LOWELLVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – A backhoe has become a staple along the Mahoning River in Lowellville – first to remove the dam and now to build what will become Lowellville Riverfront Park.
“Everything will be concrete ahead,” said Lowellville Mayor Jim Iudiciani.
Friday afternoon, Iudiciani drove us to the Mahoning River, where one day soon people will be entering and exiting with their canoes and kayaks. The wooden frame under construction will be a series of steps.
“It would just be nice. You can sit here with a chair, fish, facilitate the climb up the ramp, ”he said.
A large piece of precast concrete starting from the river is already in place, as is the curb. Up the hill and away from the river a toilet is being built and a large leveled area will be a parking lot. A sign went up indicating where the Lowellville Dam was once located.
“From Youngstown to here it’s a three hour kayak trip. From here to New Castle, it’s three o’clock. There are already two or three companies doing these excursions – drop them off, pick them up, bring them back. So we see this as our stimulus for economic development, ”said Iudiciani.
The village of Lowellville also has 13 acres along the river, north of the park.
“We hope to set up a park there, a business of about $ 700,000. Put on a walking trail and frisbee and fish cut golf tables and a few pavilions and maybe one day a community center, ”Iudiciani said.
The removal of the dam and the construction of the ramp and toilets cost $ 2.65 million, of which just over $ 200,000 came from the village.
Iudiciani grew up a few steps from the river. When he looks at it today, he is amazed.
“We weren’t allowed to play in this river because in the 60s I was born in 61, but in the early 70s this river was polluted. There was a big moss coming down. It was orange, it was red and we weren’t allowed, ”Iudiciani said.
The park is expected to be finished in time for a ribbon cut by 10 a.m. on December 3.
Iudiciani also said at a village council meeting on Wednesday he planned to demand that the police and fire levies that were defeated on Tuesday be put back on the May primary ballot.
Lowellville school superintendent Geno Thomas said the future of the school tax which was also rejected will be discussed at a meeting on Nov. 15.