Monday, July 13, 2015

County spokesman says no money promised for performing arts center study

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2015 at 9:15 PM

Earlier today it looked like City Council was ready — or as ready as it was going to get — to approve a proposal by Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren to study the feasibility of a new downtown performing arts center. Council members had been dragging their heels, citing questions about the affordability of a new facility, its impact on local arts organizations, and many other concerns. 

But at a work session late this afternoon, most Council members said that they would support the study after Warren told them that Monroe County had committed to more than $80,000 to help fund it. Council members praised the frankly, rare, cooperation between the two bodies, and the county's promised contribution clearly helped to make the cost of the study — more than $200,000 — go down a little easier. (The city's share is about $30,000.) 

Responding to a request from Council member Adam McFadden, Warren said she would provide a letter from County Executive Maggie Brooks stating the county's commitment to providing the money. 

But reached just a little while ago, county Director of Communications Justin Feasel disputed the mayor's assertion. 

"It has been no secret that County Executive Brooks supports a new performing arts center for downtown Rochester," he said. "While she has been having ongoing discussions with the mayor about this possibility, a commitment to offer county funds for the proposed study is premature." 

It's unclear what happens now as City Council had been planning to vote on the study proposal at its monthly meeting tomorrow night. 

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