Board of Control Approves ARP Spending, 20 Federal Labor Agreement

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The city’s Board of Control approved spending nearly $300,000 in American Rescue Plan funds for a contract with the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber to better position city sites for potential development, and to provide funds toward Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp.’s redevelopment of the Foster Theater on the South Side.

Last week, City Council approved two ordinances authorizing the spending from the city’s $82.7 million ARP allocation.

One was to enter into a $187,500 professional services agreement with the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber to implement a site readiness program that would provide the city with real-time data and inventory of developable properties in and around the city.

“It’s just another way for us as a city to get sites ready for businesses that want to come here and expand or locate here,” Mayor Jamael Tito Brown said. Additionally, the Regional Chamber Foundation will supplement the ARP funds, he said.

The other ARP-related spending item approved using $100,000 of the 5th Ward’s allocation of ARP funds for Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp.’s renovation of the former Foster Theater, which will include creating retail and apartment spaces in the Glenwood Avenue building. The ordinance was proposed by 5th Ward Councilwoman Lauren McNally.

According to city documents, the four “high quality” apartments will be available to residents at or below 80% of the area median income. The project, which is slated for completion in 2024, also will include creation of two commercial units at the front of the building, restoration of the building’s historic façade and marquee and improvements to the exterior public space.

The project represents another opportunity for YNDC to take a structure and repurpose it for the neighborhood, Brown said.

In addition, the board approved a project labor agreement between the city and the Western Reserve Building and Construction Trades Council for construction and remediation at the city-owned 20 Federal Place as part of the building’s renovation.

The intent of the agreement is “to provide for the efficient, safe, quality and timely completion” of the project, “in a manner designed to afford reasonable costs” to the building’s owner and/or developer. The city has until June 30 to complete the demolition and remediation work under terms of a $6.96 million brownfield remediation grant from the state.

Conditions of the agreement approved at Thursday’s meeting include wages and benefits at rates set forth in applicable local collective bargaining agreements. Each of the unions and their agents, representatives and employees also “shall not allow, incite, encourage, condone or participate in any strike, walkout, slowdown, picketing, sympathy strike or other work stoppage of any nature for any cause whatsoever.”

The agreement approved by the city was signed by Marty Loney, president of the building trades council, as well as representatives of several individual building trades, and would be binding on the general contractor selected to perform the work as well as any subcontractors.

The city will advertise for bids Monday, with responses to be opened Jan. 20, Charles Shasho, Youngstown deputy director of public works, said.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.