City OKs $30,000 to Fund Downtown Events

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – With the summer festival season set to begin, the city Board of Control today approved $30,000 to cover the cost of infrastructure and production rentals for three downtown events: the Youngstown Wine and Jazz Festival, the Youngstown Gospel Festival and Federal Frenzy.

Federal Frenzy was held April 23. Dates for the other two events have not been announced. Michael McGiffin, coordinator of events and special projects for the city, said this summer’s full schedule of events will be released next week.

“What we’re trying to focus on this year isn’t increasing the quantity of events but honing in and tailoring the events to make them better regional draws,” McGiffin said.

Summer Festival of the Arts will be expanded to three days – July 8, 9 and 10 – and Over the Edge, a fundraiser for Beatitude House where local leaders rappel down the side of First National Tower, will take place over two days this year. An event series similar to Party on the Plaza will make its debut this summer, McGiffin said, with a weekly outdoor event on Friday evenings throughout the summer.

“We aren’t saying where it will be just yet, but I can say it’s somewhere we’ve never thrown a party before,” he said. “We want it to be a happy hour-type of event.”

McGiffin also said he expects new information on plans for an amphitheater near the Covelli Centre to be discussed May 18 at the City Council meeting.

“There will be some designs shown, so we’re planning from both sides now,” he said.

The board approved a professional services agreement with the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. to operate the neighborhood improvement program, which includes mowing lawns at vacant properties, cleaning lots and boarding empty houses. The contract, which expires April 14, 2017, is valued at $174,260.80.

The Board of Control also approved the purchase of five golf carts for the Henry Stambaugh Gold Course for $11,250. Robert Burke, director of parks and recreation for the city, said the carts were for “general upgrades.

“We have three down right now and we’re getting five,” he said. “We don’t want to be in a situation where we run out of carts for golfers to use on a busy day.”

Chuck Shasho, deputy director of public works, announced that Wick Avenue renovation project will begin accepting bids May 17. The project will repave the road near Youngstown State University, eliminate one lane in each direction and bury electrical lines.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.