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WJBD - Local News - Salem City Council Appears To Be Willing To Do More Than Asked On Theatre Improvement Project

Salem Theatre Board Members Drew Johnson and Diane Jones address City Council on proposed $71,000 renovation and expansion project.

Salem City Council Appears To Be Willing To Do More Than Asked On Theatre Improvement Project

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

The Salem City Council appears to be ready to offer the Salem Theatre and Cultural Center Board even more help than they requested on a proposed $71,000 expansion and renovation project.  

Theatre Board Members Drew Johnson and Diane Jones came before the council asking for a $30,000 loan to put with a $40,000 state grant obtained by State Representative John Cavaletto.  Instead, Councilman Dave Black suggested they be treated the same as several other projects in the tax increment financing district and receive half of their request as a $15,000 grant.  That would leave the theatre with only $15,000 to pay back.

The proposal will be finalized and brought back to the next city council meeting for possible action.  

Johnson says the addition includes an 18 by 18 foot expansion for dressing rooms and a backstage restroom.  "We're looking to make our facility more marketable for Salem to use for anything, not just theatrical.  We're making great strides on our efforts down there, but currently lack the financial independence at this juncture to allow for the expansion," said Johnson.

While the theatre board is responsible for operation and programming at the theatre, the building is owned by the City of Salem.   

In other action the council approved:

  • A $26,600 contract with Glass and Shuffett to do the audit for the fiscal year ending April 30th. The contract is a $650 or 2.5% increase over last year.  
  • The Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce request to use Bryan Memorial Park for the ninth annual Applefest on Saturday September 21st.  
  • Closing Church Street on the north side of the Bryan Bennett Library for an Emergency/Community Services Awareness Fair on June 21st as part of their summer reading program.  Salem Cub Scout Pack 262 was given permission to use a portion of Bryan Memorial Park for an educational program June 4th through 7th from four to ten each evening.  

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