Council to Vote on Amphitheater Radios

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – City Council this week will consider three items related to the Covelli Centre and Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre, including a new communications system that will span both sites. 

Among the items is an ordinance authorizing the city’s Board of Control to enter into a lease-to-own agreement with Huntington Bank to purchase new digital radios to replace the current analog system at the city-owned arena. 

The current system at the Covelli Centre cannot be used outside the building, whereas the new digital system could be used at the arena, amphitheater and riverfront park. 

“We have the same system that we had 12 years ago,” said Eric Ryan, president of JAC Management Group and executive director of the Covelli Centre. “It just is antiquated and does not work. We were due for a purchase anyway.” 

The city has three bids for purchase of the equipment, said Kyle Miasek, deputy finance director. Huntington will serve as the “leasing arm of the arrangement,” he said. 

The equipment is being financed over four years, he said, noting that the city has before used similar arrangements for the purchase of other equipment. The Covelli Centre will pay for the communications system through its operations budget, Ryan added.

Council members will also vote on authorizing the Board of Control to seek bids and enter into a contract for the purchase of 2,000 black Samsonite chairs for the amphitheater and park, the cost of which will not exceed $28,000. 

It also will vote on authorizing the board to enter into a contract not to exceed $35,000 for a motorized rigging system for the amphitheater. The system will be use for hanging lighting and sound equipment, Ryan said. 

Ryan reported Monday that he was “very pleased” so far with sales for the amphitheater events that have been announced to date. Sales began Friday for the initial shows featuring acts including Michael Stanley and the Resonators and Donnie Iris and the Cruisers (June 15), Gucci Mane (June 22), Chicago (June 28), and Earth, Wind & Fire (July 5).   

Ryan and Charles Shasho, deputy director of public works, said Monday they are satisfied with progress at the site. 

“This isn’t weather we normally would anticipated in the middle of April,” Shasho said as light snow fell Monday morning. “It’s not unheard of but it’s not something we want.” 

Construction of the site’s buildings is moving along, he said, with much of the remaining work dealing with their interiors. The amphitheater will open June 14 as scheduled, though Festival Alley wont be quite finished and grass wont have grown completely in the great lawn area.  

“I don’t see any reason why we wont be ready by June 14,” Shasho said. 

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