Council looking to cut funds for downtown events in Youngstown

Downtown business owner Jacob Harver says he's disappointed to hear the news

A Party in the Plaza took place Sunday night in Austintown.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown City Council needs to balance the budget, and one of the ways they are discussing to do so is by cutting $45,000 for downtown events.

Downtown business owner Jacob Harver says he’s disappointed to hear the news, but he says those gatherings are going to happen no matter what.

Harver owns The Federal in downtown Youngstown. He’s had a business in the city since 2009. He’s already seen the transformation the downtown area has gone through and says he’s excited for the DoubleTree Hotel and the amphitheater.

“I think downtown is about to go into a whole new stage of development. It is real exciting to be part of it all,” Harver said.

And a part of that development comes through city events. Cutting $45,000 from the Federal Plaza program fund, money which supports many of the events bringing people downtown, was a part of a budget proposal at Wednesday night’s council meeting.

Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown says this is just a part of cuts across the board.

“Which will be a little onus on the owners downtown. We still want to be a partner. We just don’t know at what level we can partner with some of those organizations this year,’ Brown said.

Harver says places like The Federal are already spending cash on the downtown events, but the money from the city just helps take them to another level.

“No matter what, we are still going to do events, even without assistance from the city. But I think having more help promoting those events is a big help,” Harver said.

Downtown Youngstown falls under the city’s 1st Ward and Councilman Julius Oliver said a $45,000 budget cut is too much.


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