Park Theatre Group members have yet to give a definite answer on a management agreement between the group and the city of McMinnville once Park Theatre restoration is complete.
“As far as the endeavor to get a consensus out of the Park Theatre Group, I am not able to report there is a consensus from the group,” said Park Theatre Group member Steve Phillips on Friday. “The timeline given for me to meet with the other members was not permissible for that.”
Phillips was asked during the Park Theatre Committee’s first meeting on Tuesday to discuss the matter and bring back a response on Friday.
The Park Theatre Committee is a five-member group assigned to work on aspects of Park Theatre restoration and make recommendations to the city board. Members include chairman Jeff Golden, Park Theatre Group representatives Steve Phillips and David Marttala, and city board representatives Vice Mayor Everett Brock and Alderman Junior Medley.
Under consideration is a recommendation by the committee that the city allow the group its choice of dates at the beginning of each year for events they have pre-arranged. The agreement would leave ownership of the facility in the hands of the city and only require the group to pay for the facility’s use.
In the committee’s management option, Park Theatre Group would be given the first right of refusal when it comes to days it needs, while the property would remain in the city’s hands and allow officials to set a reasonable rental price for local events.
Phillips says there are assurances from certain members of Park Theatre Group that, regardless of an agreement, the group would support the city’s efforts when it comes to Park Theatre renovation.
He quoted two members who said, “The Park Theatre Group will endeavor to support any agreement that will facilitate the community having an arts center in that building at all cost.”
From a personal standpoint, Phillips says he believe the city and Park Theatre Group should move forward with a positive campaign that will motivate people to vote in favor of funding the project.
McMinnville officials, fearing a called referendum by voters, voluntarily voted to send the measure to the November ballot. A called referendum by voters could cost the city up to $30,000. However, one done now by the board will cost nothing.
What residents will be voting on in November will be the funding mechanism. If the measure is voted down, officials cannot use 20-year bonds to pay for renovation. They can, however, use 12-year capital outlay notes and pay higher debt service payments.