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|Knox County Civic Center Authority Considers Tax Levy for Orpheum
|Officials involved in the operation of Galesburg's Orpheum Theatre say they are thinking about making their first pitch for money from taxpayers.
Orpheum Theatre President Kate Francis told the Knox County Civic Center Authority Board Wednesday consideration is being given to seeking the placement of a question on an election ballot as soon as next April to seek a quarter-cent property tax levy, similar to one that voters approved in the past for the Knox County Nursing Home.
Francis tells WGIL the Orpheum primarily has operated as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, taking in money through contributions and, since 2001, hotel/motel tax funds.
"(The hotel/motel tax dollars) was a very generous boost to the Orpheum Theatre's operating expenses," Francis said. "However, as time has gone on, those expenses have increased including some maintenance issues. A property tax referendum could potentially provide a significant amount of money for the Orpheum to support not only renovation projects and general maintenance repairs, but also subsidize some programming."
Francis says, however, the Civic Center Authority is in the very preliminary stages, and says she'd like to talk more with Knox County Clerk Scott Ericson first before the Authority makes any decisions.
Among the more pressing items Francis says the theatre is dealing with right now, the possibility of changing the scope of the theatre's Red Carpet Series due to advance ticket sales concerns, making the final repairs after a water pipe burst in the theatre on the day temperatures dipped to -27 this winter, and a boiler that didn't pass a state inspection.
(Richard Kowalski, CEO of OSF Saint Mary Medical Center, presented Orpheum Theatre President Kate Francis with a $2,500 donation earlier this week for the hospital's co-sponsorship of the performance of "The Lowe Family" Friday at 2pm and 7:30pm at the Orpheum. Story by Will Stevenson. Photo submitted by Orpheum Theatre.)
|04 16 09 by Newsroom
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