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& acute;Agency wants speed on CSB building deal



Published: Wed, November 21, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Ultimately, Mahoning County commissioners will decide whether to do the CSB project downtown.

By ROGER G. SMITH

CITY HALL REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Downtown projects that take more than a couple months to finalize tend to languish and fade.

That's why downtown's redevelopment agency wants to have a deal within the next eight weeks to put up a new building on West Federal Street.

Charles P. Sammarone, a Youngstown Central Area Community Improvement Corp. member, urged staff Tuesday to wrap up the deal as soon as practical.

CIC proposes building a new $6 million office for the Mahoning County Children Services Board. CIC would demolish the dilapidated former Masters Tuxedo buildings. A building would go up with two floors of office space and two levels of parking underneath.

Ultimately, Mahoning County commissioners will decide whether to do the project so CSB can move, said Reid Dulberger, executive vice president of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, which staffs CIC. The office now is in the county-owned South Side Annex on Market Street.

CSB officials seemingly favor the plan, he said.

The building will be only for CSB because the agency wants to be the sole tenant, Dulberger said.

Councilman Artis Gillam Sr., D-1st, CIC vice president, asked about building more floors for other tenants. That would create the need for more parking and drive up the cost substantially, Dulberger said.

Other matters: The property committee also handled two other matters:

USammarone, who is city council president, suggested that a CIC committee sit down with council and talk about any problems.

Two council members are sponsoring legislation that would withdraw the city from the CIC. They say the agency hasn't been effective.

The goal should be for the city and CIC to work together to do projects such as the CSB, Sammarone said. Gillam agreed, saying regular contact with council is needed.

URecommended the full board award AMPCO Parking a contract to run four CIC-owned parking lots. USA Parking was the other bidder.

Each company's proposal was good, but AMPCO sought a 5 percent management fee and USA sought a 10 percent fee. The fee was the deciding factor, committee members said. The fee is based on annual revenue.

CIC generated $160,000 from parking lots in 2000. That's expected to increase this year and next. The Higbee lot wasn't open for half of last year and daily parking may be added to the monthly parking there. The lot is only about 70 percent to 80 percent full so some daily parking might be offered, said G. Richard Pavlock, CIC president.

rgsmith@vindy.com




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