City again borrows money to pay interest on convention center loan

YOUNGSTOWN — For the fifth consecutive year, the city is borrowing money to cover the interest on the $11.9 million it borrowed to help fund the Covelli Centre’s construction costs.

To date, the city hasn’t paid a penny toward the $11.9 million principal.

But Mayor Jay Williams and Finance Director David Bozanich said that could change in the near future.

“We’re hopeful in the next two to three years we’ll be able to borrow money long-term” to pay off both the principal and the interest, Bozanich said.

The city would take between 20 and 25 years to pay back the principal and interest on its portion of the construction costs, he said.

Most of the $45 million construction cost, $26.8 million, came from a federal grant obtained by then-U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. in 2000. The center opened in October 2005.

City council unanimously voted today to borrow money at a interest rate of 5.27 percent on the $11.9 million debt.

Since it first borrowed money to cover the debt, the city has paid more than $3 million in interest alone.

The city will pay about $700,000 in interest over the next 12 months.

For the complete story, read Thursday’s Vindicator or

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