Port authority enters into agreement with Franciscan University

STEUBENVILLE — The Jefferson County Port Authority board of directors agreed Wednesday during a special meeting to sign a cooperative agreement that will allow the Franciscan University of Steubenville to issue $21 million in bonds.

Evan Scurti, port authority executive director, said the cooperative agreement is with the Summit County Port Authority, which will issue the bonds. As a result, the Jefferson County Port Authority will split the fees for the bond issuance with Summit County’s port authority, amounting to approximately $12,000 for Jefferson County’s port authority.

Rick Rollino, university vice president of finance, said the university has variable-rate bonds for Franciscan Square; Serra Hall, a dormitory located at the former Best Western hotel; and improvements to Finnegan Fieldhouse. He said the university wants to issue long-term bonds at a fixed rate.

University officials want to quickly move to issue the bonds so it is recorded on the financial statement for the year.

Long-term bond rates have not gone up as much as short-term bonds, and he noted the underwriters for the bond suggested using Summit County Port Authority, since that port authority has issued 12 bonds so far this year. He added, if it hadn’t been for the urgency, the university would have worked through the Jefferson County Port Authority for the bond issuance.

The port authority also agreed to seek a part-time employee, preferably a student at Eastern Gateway Community College or the university, to do technical and social media work.

Scurti said the employee will work 25 hours a week and be paid $12 an hour and will begin employment in early to mid-January. Also, the employee will be responsible for interacting with businesses and the public, attending port authority meetings, updating the website and Facebook page, updating databases for available properties, maintaining the Google Drive account and maintaining the interactive downtown Steubenville marketing map.

Candidates can submit a cover letter and resume to Scurti at evan@jcport.com