Plan set up to repopulate Youngstown Developmental Center

YOUNGSTOWN — Mahoning County and Western Reserve Port Authority officials this morning unveiled a plan to repopulate the shuttered Youngstown Developmental Center.

The proposal calls for $1.5 million in startup funds – which could possibly come from the state’s capital budget – to allow partnering health providers such as Alta, Meridian, Compass and Easter Seals to expand offices and programming for the underserved there.

The Western Reserve Port Authority would manage the 35-acre campus along East County Line Road in Mineral Ridge.

State Rep. Don Manning, R-59th, said though it’s a “worthwhile project” he doesn’t believe Gov. Mike DeWine would back the project if Mahoning County officials don’t seek public bids for a property manager.

The county has until June 30, 2020, to do something with the property, before ownership reverts back to the state, said Duane Piccirilli, executive director of the county Mental Health and Recovery Board.

The former state-run facility, which housed close to 90 developmentally disabled individuals and employed more than 250 people, shuttered in June 2017.