Due to last week's flooding of Boardman homes, State Representative John Boccieri (D-Poland), and other elected officials are advising Boardman Township Trustee Tom Costello to release the township's flood mitigation plan.

According to a press release, they are also urging him to work with state officials to address local safety and health issues, just as Poland and Austintown have in similar past situations. 

In a press release, Boccieri stated, "When families and citizens experience the financial and physical devastation that flooding brings, they need serious solutions that prioritize their safety and well-being. I stand ready to assist local officials who need to establish a comprehensive plan immediately to ensure this never happens again."

The press release said that Poland and Austintown townships have released comprehensive flood-mitigation plans in the past to successfully deal with similar problems.

"In 1994, we had multiple subdivisions that had in structure flooding effecting close to one-thousand homes," said Mahoning County Commissioner and former Austintown Township Trustee David Ditzler in the press release. "As an Austintown Trustee, we identified the areas that impacted the most homes, and the solutions to rectify the problems. We established a ten-year plan to alleviate all the flooding in Austintown. We proceeded to apply for all grants available to townships, and over the next ten years, we secured almost six million dollars for flood alleviating projects. This plan eliminated the flooding in the areas that impacted the most homes."

In the past, The Mahoning Valley Delegation has worked with local communities to draw down on state resources to address water issue.

 "As our local media has reported extensively, in recent years and just as recently as two weeks ago, Governor Kasich refuses to undo the painful Republican budget cuts of two-billion dollars to our communities over the last seven years," Boccieri added. "The Governor has shunned both Democrat and Republican efforts to redirect more funding to our communities to deal with issues like infrastructure, public health, and public safety with veto threats. The sad reality is that money will stay in the Rainy Day fund until he leaves office this December."

Valley lawmakers have fought to pass bills, like House Bill 499 and House Joint Resolution 14, legislation that would release more funding for local infrastructure projects and issue public bonds to pay for sewer and water upgrades, respectively.
 
Boccieri informed that Community Development Block Grant funds are available and Soil and Water Conservation Districts are organized to help Boardman Township Trustee Tom Costello and his team solidify a strong 10-year plan. 
 
"That approach was successful in Austintown, and it can be successful in Boardman too," said Boccieri.
 
In the past, the Valley delegation supported the formation of the ABC Water and Stormwater District as a way to better leverage funds to address stormwater issues across Austintown, Boardman and Canfield Townships.
 
"When we were faced with our own crisis, we asked State Rep. John Boccieri and Sen. Joe Schiavoni to help with flooding issues in Poland and they responded," Poland Township Trustee Eric Ungaro said, in the press release. "They came to public meetings, toured flooded areas and helped identify resources."
 
In other matters involving strengthening the state and local partnership, Boardman Township Trustees Brad Calhoun and Larry Moliterno said Boccieri's partnership on local issues has been important in the past.