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Auditor wants Oakhill figures



Published: Sat, May 20, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



The bankruptcy trustee hopes to have information soon for Oakhill's tenants.

By DEBORA SHAULIS

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Mahoning County Auditor Michael V. Sciortino says he hopes the proposed acquisition of Oakhill Renaissance Place will be a great deal for the county.

As the county's chief financial officer, Sciortino also says he's waiting to see solid figures on the building's operational costs, liabilities and revenue streams to determine if it is a good deal.

"I, in no way, want to act as a barrier to it," Sciortino said Friday of plans to use Oakhill to consolidate county offices. Southside Community Development Corp., the nonprofit group that owns and operates the building, filed for bankruptcy May 3.

Talk of the county's takeover of Oakhill has inspired questions about the building's condition, costs of renovating space and moving county offices there, and whether certain county offices should be relocated there.

"It seems like we're putting the cart before the horse," Sciortino said. "People are asking for information that I don't have."

Commissioners' vote

Sciortino's comments echoed those of officeholders such as Commissioner John McNally IV, who was on the losing side of a 2-1 vote by commissioners Thursday to accept responsibility for a $450,000 state development loan issued to SCDC. The intent was to show the county's interest in eventually taking title to Oakhill.

Commissioners Anthony Traficanti and David Ludt voted for the resolution, with support from some community leaders who see Oakhill as important to South Side revitalization.

Sciortino said he didn't attend the commissioners' Thursday meeting because of pressing matters in his office. He didn't know Oakhill would be a topic at the meeting.

"As county auditor, I should be notified of pending financial commitments," he said.

Traficanti and County Administrator George Tablack couldn't be reached to comment Friday.

Atty. Andrew W. Suhar, who is trustee of SCDC's bankruptcy case, said no decisions have been made about the fate of the Oakhill property, but he hopes to have information soon for remaining tenants.

Money owed to creditors

Suhar noted the filing late Thursday of documents in SCDC's Chapter 7 bankruptcy that show more than $1.7 million is owed to unsecured creditors, or those who don't have liens on the property.

Sodexho Associates Inc. of Wexford, Pa., is owed $1.07 million for building management services, including maintenance and security. Utility providers Youngstown Thermal and Ohio Edison are owed $414, 543 and $138,859, respectively. Six other creditors are listed, with totals from $640 to $64,268.

Oakhill's revenues in 2005 totaled $1.28 million, with other income listed at $1.07 million. SCDC has claimed assets of $19,453 and liabilities of $4.44 million.

Oakhill's three largest tenants are Mahoning Valley Hospital, which rents 28,829 square feet and paid $495,000 in annual rent; Mahoning-Youngstown Community Action Partnership, which has 23,489 square feet and pays $252,507 per year; and Youngstown Health Department, with 17,676 square feet and $119,530 in annual rent.

Mahoning Valley Hospital will relocate Wednesday to Greenbriar Healthcare Center in Boardman.




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