Harley Jones Rotary Memorial Amphitheater
Harley Jones Rotary Memorial Amphitheater

(1-30-19) Celina City council members on Monday night  unanimously passed the first reading of an ordinance authorizing the issuance and sale of bonds totaling $555,000 to pay for concrete for decking surrounding the new Harley C. Jones Memorial Rotary Amphitheater and for one of five new restroom facilities being planned at the Bryson Park District on Lake Shore Drive.

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The $550,000 City officials are hoping that the $550,000 that it intends to borrow (bond sales) might be able to be used as matching funds toward available grants. Council was informed that former Celina Mayor and City School administrator Jim Mustard will be working on the matching grant applications.

Game Plan For Completion of the Amphitheater:

The city will acquire a five-year note with a 4.1 percent fixed interest rate from Second National Bank. The city would repay the debt with five annual payments of about $110,000, which would come from the Grand Lake Tax Increment Financing district (the 25-year TIF will be collecting real estate taxes through 2029) and not from the general fund.

Phase 3 of the Amphitheater

The city plans to start Phase 3 of the Amphitheater this spring.

Phase 3 will consist of the amphitheater work of four ascending levels of concrete. This will allow the public to place lawn chairs or sit on the walls of each level. Steps will be installed on the sides and middle of the seating. The concrete seating and surrounding grassy area will allow around 4,000 people to be seated at the venue.

Construction of a restroom facility near the east end of the parking lot. This project still has to be bid out before moving forward. Construction of the restroom will not begin until after festival season

Why borrow more funds?

The original $1.2 million state capital line-item did not include funding for the concrete decking work. City officials decided to go with the decking rather than a grassy slope that was originally planned to provide more secure and lasting seating..

$65,000 for the amphitheater is all that remains from a $1.2 million state capital line-item grant secured by Celina resident and former Ohio Senate President (at the time) (R) Keith Faber. That money will be combined with the $550,000 the city hopes to borrow to complete the amphitheater project. The project should be completed and ready for the 2019 Celina Lake Festival.

Where did the funding from the State go

Alexander & Bebout Inc. of Van Wert received a $357,638 contract to complete the seating. Employees are expected to begin work on May 15.

Bruns Building & Development of St. Henry, which received a $491,033 contract to construct the amphitheater and install the foundation, concrete, sidewalks, lighting and a sound system and will finish its part of the project in early 2019. Most of the work is done on the amphitheater structure with the stage and surrounding concrete to be poured by the contractor by May.

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