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Cultural Arts Center moving ahead
by Jennifer Wardell
Mar 03, 2009 | 2040 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CENTERVILLE — Despite the troubled economy, preparation for what may soon be referred to as the Davis Cultural Arts Center is still moving ahead to what officials hope will be a May 2009 groundbreaking.

The Centerville City Council is planning to hold a public hearing during their March 14 meeting concerning a plan to use a sales tax pledge as security when the RDA seeks bonds for the arts center. City staff are also still ironing out the final details of the impending $2 million agreement between the arts center and the county, and volunteers are getting ready to begin private fund raising programs that reach out to the community.

Though no Centerville sales tax money would actually be used to pay for the arts center, financial experts involved in the project agree that offering up that tax as collateral on the bonds would provide some comfort and security to the bond underwriters and lead to much better terms for the arts center. This security could help narrow the budget gap the theater still faces, which is anywhere from $1.3 to $2.3 million depending on terms and cost estimates.

“Right now, security is a big problem in the bond market. People don’t want to take too much risk,” said Centerville City Financial Director Blaine Lutz. “Extra security could potentially make millions of dollars worth of difference.”

The $2 million agreement with Davis County, which has been supported but not formally voted on by either side, went through some final detail adjustments before recently being sent back to the county for approval.

“We’re working through it with everyone,” said Centerville City Manager Steve Thacker. Bountiful representatives on the SDCAC board are also offering their input on the agreement.

Even with the money from the county, however, those involved know that private donations will be needed to make up the gap in funding. In order to cover this a group of volunteers, many of whom have been heavily involved in Rodgers Memorial Theatre’s fund raising efforts over the last several years, are organizing some financial information for a big fund raising push.

One major avenue of that fund raising will be selling seats in the main theater of the arts center, a project that Rodgers Memorial President Glen McKay estimates could earn up to $500,000 for the center.

Though residents would not be purchasing the seats to use, a small plaque or other identifier would be added to the seat to show who had contributed to putting it there. The bricks that will make up the walkway to the theater will also be sold.

Naming rights to the entire building or certain areas (including possibly the proposed black-box theater) are another fund raising option also still available for the arts center, though Centerville Mayor Ronald Russell has suggested that the name be changed to the Davis Cultural Arts Center until that happens. Until a formal vote is taken, however, the name is still officially the South Davis Cultural Art Center.

jwardell@davisclipper.com
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