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Park eyes bigger acts
Big Smo
Big Smo rocked the Park Theater house earlier this year with his unorthodox blend of country rap. He has been one of the most popular Park Theater performers.

Park Theater’s annual budget has reached the $500,000 mark.

The city Parks and Recreation Committee met to review an estimated $527,250 budget for the facility for upcoming fiscal year 2018-19. In 2016-17, there was $446,442 spent. Budgeted for 2017-18 was $440,150.

Among the increases was an additional $10,000 to bring in acts.

“We want to book some bigger, better acts,” said McMinnville Parks and Recreation Department director Scott McCord. “We increased that from $65,000 to $75,000.”

Alderman Ben Newman expressed a desire to break even financially.

“I’m good if we just break even,” said Newman. “I’d love to make money, but the whole point is to provide something to the community. If we can break even on these things, that’s great. It’s a win. If we can make money, that’s even better.”

McCord stated, “I think we’ve shown we can break even.”

City administrator Bill Brock says it’s sometimes difficult to judge what the community wants to see.

“They’ve booked acts and I’ve thought it would be a sellout, but it was a bomb. It’s amazing to me what goes and what doesn’t. They’re taking their best shot down there and sometimes they hit it and sometimes they don’t. We had a group that came in and beat on a plastic bag and it booked the place. Big Smo, or whatever it was, was a sellout.”

Other increases:

1. Repair and maintenance of the building increased by $14,000, from $5,000 last year to $19,000 within the proposed budget.
2. Other machinery and equipment (projection system) $22,000. No money was requested last year.
3. Ticket processing fees and CC charges from $1,000 to $15,000.

The committee unanimously approved the budget. It will be presented to the city Finance Committee for consideration.