Park Threatre restoration finally appears to be rolling along with renovation work on the horizon.
Good faith was shown between McMinnville officials and Park Theatre Group members during Tuesday night’s Building and Grounds Committee meeting. The city will borrow money needed for renovation and generate a new lease agreement, while Park Theatre Groups pays for bid documents.
Park Theatre Group members had been waiting on obtaining bid documents until they were certain financing had been secured.
“It’s kind of like which comes first, the chicken or the egg,” said David Marttala, a member of Park Theatre Group. “We can pay for the bid documents. If you choose not to move forward, we are out all that money.”
By state law, the city must generate bid documents defining the work to be performed and allow bidding on the project. Privately owned businesses do not have to do this. Bid documents are only necessary if Park Theatre Group gets the city’s assistance with funding. The documents could cost up to $75,000.
Alderman Billy Wood says he can see the good faith being shown by Park Theatre Group and the city should show good faith in return.
The city’s attorney was instructed by committee members to sit down with Park Theatre Group members and draw up a new lease agreement for the Park Theatre property.
“I’m assuming the lease agreement should include a $1 purchase price, once the debt service is paid in full for the cost of renovation,” said city attorney Tim Pirtle. “Anything the city has to pay for debt service can be tacked onto the back end of the lease.”
Committee members voiced their agreement and asked Pirtle to also generate a resolution borrowing $2 million for Park Theatre renovation.
As explained by city administrator David Rutherford, the actual cost of renovation will not be known until the bids come in, but the city can pick a larger amount than what it thinks will be needed. Debt service will be calculated only on the portion used and annual payments will not begin until after the money is allocated toward the project.
Prior estimates have put the price between $1.2 million and $1.8 million.
“If bids come in at $1.2 million, that’s all we have to use and that’s all Park Theatre Group has to pay debt service on,” Rutherford said.
Officials want a 20-year loan to make the debt service payments lower and easier for Park Theatre Group to make on its own through revenue. The exact annual payment will not be known until renovation is complete.
The resolution to borrow funds and a new lease agreement will be presented to the board for its consideration in September. Once accepted, Park Theatre Group will obtain the necessary documents to bid the project.