Youngstown council members support a management contract for amphitheater, but will wait until July to vote

Published: Thu, June 22, 2017 @ 12:05 a.m.

Group would manage proposed amphitheater and Covelli Centre

By David Skolnick


City council members support having JAC Management LLC manage the operations and food-and-beverage sales at the proposed downtown amphitheater and to continue to do those jobs at the Covelli Centre.

But members said Wednesday they want to discuss the proposals further before voting on contracts. That discussion will happen sometime next month with council expected to approve the deals at a special July 27 meeting.

JAC is “doing a great job running the Covelli Centre and will do the same at the amphitheater,” said Councilman Julius Oliver, D-1st. “We want to look at final contracts and make sure [they’re] best for the city and all parties involved.”

Legislation to have the board of control approve the contracts were on council’s agenda Wednesday. But council members said they wanted to wait until proposed documents are finalized and review them before giving authority to the board to sign off on the deals.

Council members “want to have additional conversations on them,” said Councilman Mike Ray, D-4th. “We’re happy with JAC’s years of management of the center.”

“Council members want to understand all of the details and discuss them further, but in general, we support the contracts,” said Councilman T.J. Rodgers, D-2nd.

The current contract has JAC receiving a $99,200 annual management fee. The deal also calls for the company to receive a 15 percent bonus at the center for operating surpluses that exceed $100,000 annually. JAC made a $50,277 bonus last year.

The new proposal to manage both facilities would start Jan. 1, 2018, and run through Dec. 31, 2022.

The other proposal is for JAC to handle food-and-beverage sales at the amphitheater and continue to do so at the center from Jan. 1, 2018, to Dec. 31, 2022. JAC makes between 3 percent and 6 percent of concession sales depending on how much is sold.

Council also voted to support of a resolution to borrow $4 million in federal Community Development Block Grant money to help pay for the amphitheater and a park along the Mahoning River from the South Avenue Bridge to just west of Hazel Street at the former Wean United Building.

The amphitheater, to be finished by May 2018, will be on property that includes the former Wean site on South Phelps Street.

Also, council authorized the board of control to spend $83,000 on a study to examine the feasibility and cost of removing dams on the Mahoning River to open portions of the river for recreational purposes.

And, council voted in favor of permitting the board to sign a 10-year, 75-percent real-property tax abatement with Campus Associates LLC for the $2.23 million retail portion of the Enclave, its $16 million student-housing complex at Youngstown State University.

The tax abatement for the retail space would have the company pay $57,963 of the $231,853 in taxes that would be due over a 10-year period.

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