Preparations for Sharon mapping initiative - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Preparations for Sharon mapping initiative

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SHARON, Pa. -

It's a first-of-its-kind initiative that could have big implications for the future of the city of Sharon.

Inside the city's municipal building on a sunny, warm afternoon, volunteers are busy setting up for a big day Saturday.

It's not a marathon or a race, but something that will still command lots of energy.

The volunteers will be scouring the city from top to bottom, inside and out, using GIS or geographic information systems mapping through an app on mobile phones.

"We're verifying the house address for Mercer County 911, we're going over the construction materials for the houses for our state historical preservation office and lastly and most importantly to us we're actually going to go through conditions of the properties themselves," says citizen volunteer Bill Dodd.

And it's much bigger than just this one mapping event.

"We do a lot of grant applications and really to make yourself more competitive to bring more dollars into the city, you need hard data and at the present time we just don't have that," says Sharon Community and Economic Development Director Melissa Lynn-Holmes.

The data will be compiled into a summary, then into a neighborhood revitalization plan to be given to city and state leaders.

Less than a month after the first of three training sessions was held, the group has already handed out 4,000 of the 6,500 maps to be completed.

"We do expect that we're going to be able to get close to all 6,500 homes done," says Dodd.

And once they do, these volunteers have high hopes for where their hard work will lead.

The mapping initiative gets underway at 9am Saturday at the Sharon Municipal Building.

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