Youngstown to provide up to $500,000 to the incubator expansion

By David Skolnick


City council will consider legislation Wednesday to provide up to $500,000 to a proposed $5 million expansion of the Youngstown Business Incubator.

The ordinance would give authority to the board of control to commit that dollar amount for only water and wastewater expenses YBI will have to renovate the office building of The Vindicator at Vindicator Square and West Boardman Street for an expansion.

YBI received $1.5 million from the state capital budget in March toward the $5 million expansion plan. It also plans to apply for $3 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

To be eligible for the federal grant, YBI needs to have $2 million in financial commitments to the project, thus the need for the $500,000 request from the city, said Barb Ewing, its chief operating officer.

The incubator is negotiating a deal with the newspaper to purchase the building, but it hasn’t been finalized. Money to buy that building would come from other funding sources, Ewing said.

Once the deal is finalized and YBI starts to make water and sewer improvements, it will be required to provide documentation showing that is where the city money is going, said Mayor John A. McNally.

YBI owns its original building at 241 W. Federal St. as well as the Taft Technology Center and the Semple Building, both just west of 241 W. Federal St., as well as America Makes, the $70 million advanced manufacturing hub at 236 W. Boardman St.

Also Wednesday, council will consider a temporary change to the police ranks to have six captains and reduce that number to three as those in that position retire. The city had five captains, but added a temporary sixth when Rod Foley was replaced as police chief and made a captain in January.

The retirements of three captains is expected to occur during the next 12 to 18 months, McNally said.

An agreement on this was approved in February between the city and the union that represents ranking police officers.

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