City to hear public feedback on Youngstown amphitheater project

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The city of Youngstown is getting closer to building an amphitheater downtown and now city leaders are asking for the public’s input.

The $8.9 million project has been in the works for a couple of years. It includes a 3,500 plus-seat amphitheater, park, water fountain, and a walkway to the Covelli Centre. There are also plans to create an entertainment district from Phelps to Commerce streets, with new lighting and retail space.

William D’Avignon, director of community development, said the project will enhance the revitalization of the downtown area as well as create more economic growth.

The money to fund the project will come from several sources, including a $4 million federal loan to be paid back over 20 years. Some of the money will come from block grants.

D’Avignon said the city currently spends block grant money on street surfacing, housing assistance programs, public service programs and other improvements. Some of the loan payment for the amphitheater would come out of that fund.

“It’s going to make the budgets a little tighter under those programs,” D’Avignon said.

Youngstown City Finance Director David Bozanich said the city’has paid off all of their previous debt, which makes the amphitheater more affordable.

“You will not see any decrease on city surfaces because of the amphitheater project. There will be zero negative impact on city surfaces,” Bozanich said.

Bozanich said the city has heard nothing but positive feedback about the project.

A public meeting on the amphitheater is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday, March 9 inside the community room at the Covelli Centre, 229 E. Front St.

The project is scheduled to be complete by summer 2018.