LOWELLVILLE, Ohio - Communities along the Mahoning River may be one step closer to opening the water way for recreational use; then enjoying the potential influx of cash that could come with it.

The director of the Ohio EPA visited Lowellville today do discuss the village's application for a $2.4 million grant to help pay for the removal of the First Street Dam.

"We're excited about it and it's a great thing, not only for Lowellville, but for Struthers and Campbell and Youngstown, and the whole Mahoning Valley and kayakers," says Mayor James Iudiciani Sr.

"We're hoping to revitalize downtown and bring some more businesses in. The more people you have come in, the more traffic, the better chances you have for business to open up."

They Mayor predicts tourism attracted by the river could bring in about $30 million annually for communities along the waterfront.

The community hopes to know later this year if they will be awarded the grant.