Developing Discussions: Hospital, library also ask council for funding

A second proposal for a boutique hotel was just one of several projects that Warren City Council discussed as possibilities for Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funds.

Council heard from Warren General Hospital, the Warren Public Library and discussed a couple other projects more generally during Monday’s meeting.

Council previously committed $2 million to a boutique hotel project in the HIY, Inc building.

The Warren General Hospital request focuses on a maternity ward renovation. The state awarded $750,000 to the project previously but WGH Maintenance Director Angie Dart said the hospital had applied for $2 million.

“That will allow us to do less than half of the unity,” she said.

The first phase outlined would include renovation of the delivery and recovery rooms while a second phase would renovate the nursery and pediatric unit.

City Manager Nancy Freenock said the ask from WGH is additional funding beyond the $750,000.

She told council that the request likely can’t be authorized at this time as city officials await word on whether RACP funds can be used to renovate the Clark St. parking garage.

Freenock said she’s hoping for clarity on that piece of the puzzle in the next three or four weeks.

Kelli Knapp, the library’s director, outlined her request for $100,000 for a teen space at the library.

She said teens currently “have a very small space in the library” that “does not have access there to do much of anything.” It’s called a study room, currently.

The proposed teen space would be located on the basement and include a kitchenette, computers, graphic design capability, recording and video resources.

She said the current plan is to “co-exist” with the Warren Area Student Union, promoting each other’s offerings. “We’re going to be providing something different,” she said. “We will be able to do a lot of the smaller things.”

Freenock told council this proposal will have to go back to the state Senate for consideration and that she would work with Sen. Hutchinson’s office on that effort. She said she doesn’t “see it as a problem”

Council preliminary took action to award those funds.

A proposed allocation of $500,000 to Robert Yoder for improvements to the geothermal system along the river was also discussed.

Freenock said the part of the system that has to be replaced would be located under a proposed trail behind the HIY, Inc. building.

Jim Decker, WCCBI president/CEO, said he thinks “It’s common knowledge” that the system “has been less than functional.”

Council didn’t take action on the proposal because no presentation was made by the owner.

Several other projects fall under the RACP umbrella that are city government specific – the boat launch, improvements to the garage and the trail along the riverfront as well as an emergency generator, fire station improvements and a fire alarm system in the city building.


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