Youngstown Completes Design Agreement for Amphitheater

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The city Board of Control approved a design services agreement Thursday with Columbus landscape architecture firm MKSK to design the $9 million riverfront park and amphitheater.

Last month, the board approved an $830,000 contract with MKSK to provide design and construction management services.

The agreement approved yesterday incorporates suggestions by architect Paul Ricciuti, said Law Director Martin Hume. Youngstown contracted with Ricciuti last year for consulting services on projects that involve grants for water, wastewater and the environment.

The timeline approved Thursday calls for completion by May 1, 2018.

The city has proposed taking out a $4 million Section 108 loan to be repaid from a share of its annual Community Development Block Grant disbursement.

On Thursday, the federal budget proposed by President Donald Trump calls eliminating of the $3 billion CDBG program.

Mayor John McNally, who chairs the Board of Control, said he is more concerned about the concept of getting rid of the CDBG program overall and not just the impact on the amphitheater. The $4 million annual allocation helps to fund many of Youngstown’s smaller social services agencies.

“These are monies that go into the community,” he said.

Already the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities have gone “full bore” at members of Congress to oppose the budget, he said.

“You’re going to find Senate Republicans under a whole lot of pressure because those folks know what good CDBG money does in their individual states,” he added.

The board also selected Marucci & Gaffney Excavating Co. from among seven bidders for the first phase of the North Meridian Road rehabilitation project. The company bid $3.4 million to do the work, which will stretch from Mahoning Avenue to the Interstate 680 access ramps.

Youngstown had to rebid the project after the sole qualifying bidder the first time withdrew its proposal citing a “critical error.”

“We got a good number on it [on the second bid]. It was actually lower than the last time we bid it,” Chuck Shasho, deputy director of public works, said.

In addition, the board approved licensing agreements with the Legal Creative Inc., the Youngstown Business Incubator and Jon Howell for use of the “City of You” trademark. The city is not being compensated for its use.

“From a branding standpoint, the more people that participate, the larger the distribution, the better it is for us,” Hume said.

Pictured: Rendering of amphitheater project.

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