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Bill to redirect Robins money



Published: Thu, March 16, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



Money to study a lodge at Mosquito Lake would be matched by local dollars.

By JEFF ORTEGA

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

COLUMBUS -- The state is looking at taking $1 million originally slated for capital improvements at the Robins Theater in downtown Warren and redirecting the funds to two other Trumbull County projects.

In a recently introduced bill that would reauthorize continuing capital appropriations, lawmakers are considering redirecting $975,000 of the funds to the W.D. Packard Music Hall, also in Warren, and putting $25,000 into a feasibility study to bring a state lodge to Mosquito State Park.

The measure is pending in the House Finance Committee. Majority House Republicans say they expect a committee and full House vote on the bill next week.

State Rep. Randy Law of Warren, R-64th, said Wednesday the Robins Theater has sat vacant and that officials believe the money could be better directed to the two other projects.

Robins Theater closed in 1974.

Packard Music Hall opened in 1955 and is the venue for many cultural and entertainment events including Broadway touring productions, concerts and ballets.

"It's a good facility that needs some updating," Law said of the Packard facility.

Law said the state funds, once committed, will be used with local funds to make improvements at the Packard facility.

"It's an ongoing project," Law said.

Representatives of the Robins and Packard venues couldn't be reached Wednesday.

Law said the proposed $25,000 for the feasibility study of a lodge at Mosquito State Park would be matched by about $50,000 in locally generated dollars.

Interest has been brewing for a while on the prospect of a lodge at the state park. An exact site near Cortland has not been decided.

"It's been a big issue," Law said.

If it passes the House, the capital reappropriations bill would have to approved by the Ohio Senate.




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