The city will spend $18,000 to prepare the commission's new home.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- The downtown Youngstown redevelopment agency's executive committee authorized its staff to spend up to $18,000 to renovate its meeting room into the new home of the Ohio Athletic Commission.
The athletic commission wants to be sure that its new home is ready by mid-June, said Jason Whitehead, executive director of the Youngstown Central Area Community Improvement Corp. The commission's lease on a building in Warrensville Heights, a Cleveland suburb, expires at the end of June, and it wants to be in Youngstown before then, Whitehead said.
The board's executive committee on Friday approved legislation permitting Whitehead and his staff to hire a general contractor for no more than $15,000 to turn the CIC's conference room into the commission's office.
Also, the committee authorized the CIC staff to hire an electrical contractor for no more than $3,000 for the conversion project.
The CIC will take verbal quotes from two or three contractors for each job before making final hiring decisions, Whitehead said.
"Time is the reason we don't want to bid," he said. "The commission wants to get in here in mid-June, and we don't think we'd have this done in time if we went through formal bidding."
The commission operated out of an office in the Union Square plaza in Youngstown from about the late 1970s until 2002. Bernie Profato, the commission's executive director and a retired Niles police officer, is eager to have the agency return to the Mahoning Valley.
The commission regulates professional boxing, wrestling, karate, mixed martial arts and other striking sports, Profato said. The agency also licenses officials, promoters and participants in those professions with the exception of wrestling, he said.
The commission will pay $13,827 annually in rent for the 1,100-square-foot conference room that will be converted into its office. The room is located on the fourth floor of the George V. Voinovich Government Center on West Federal Street. Several other state agencies are located at the building.
The conversation will start in early May and be done by mid-June, Whitehead said. The commission and CIC will sign a two-year lease with 11 two-year renewable options, Whitehead said.
The CIC will retain its attached 1,000-square-foot office.
Beginning next month, the CIC will hold its full board meetings in a conference room at the First National Tower. Its committee meetings will be held in a conference room at the National City Bank building.