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WARREN Council will consider Packard Hall subsidy



Published: Sat, July 7, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The city had challenged music hall officials to create a plan showing it can operate without city help.

By AMANDA C. DAVIS

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- City council will vote later this month on an appropriation that would help fund W.D. Packard Music Hall through the end of the year.

Auditor David Griffing said he's putting together numbers for an ordinance that asks council's approval to transfer money to a few departments to make sure they finish the year in the black.

He said council will likely vote on the ordinance at its July 25 meeting, instead of Wednesday.

The city challenged Packard Band trustees and music hall officials to come up with a plan by June 30 to show it can operate without the city's help.

The city gave the hall $75,000 for the first half of this year, promising $75,000 for the rest of the year if the financial and marketing plan was agreed upon.

The music hall officials gave a presentation to council's finance committee last week, outlining the plan and requesting $80,000.

Griffing said he's not sure whether council will consider $75,000 or $80,000.

New trustees: Councilman Alford Novak, D-2nd, said the makeup of the board of trustees has changed, noting he thinks new members will complement the music hall and its mission.

Trustees appointed recently by Mayor Hank Angelo include the Rev. F. Robert Williams, Raymond Bagaglia and John Bentz. They join Linda Metzendorf, who has served a few years.

Music hall officials are working to obtain a liquor license, establish a nonprofit foundation and build a box office -- all to increase revenue.

Novak said these initiatives are vital to the hall's long-term success, making it possible for the hall to wean itself off the city's general fund budget.

Councilman Bob Marchese, D-at large, said he expects council will support the measure to help fund the hall because Packard officials have been proactive.

Councilman Ron White, D-5th, says that's also why he's leaning toward supporting the funding request.

Councilwoman Susan Hartman, D-7th, said she'll support the subsidy because she thinks council should keep its promise now that music hall officials have followed through on their promise of a strategic plan.

davis@vindy.com




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