By Cole Parkinson
After several months of back and forth, Municipal District of Taber council has decided to not push forward funding to the STAR Theatre Group.
The theatre group had brought forward a delegation during council’s regular meeting on Oct. 27 asking if the M.D. would be interested in providing financial support for some preliminary inspections and appraisals.
Following that delegation, and a closed session item to further discuss the request, council carried a motion directing administration to clarify the financial request for support and bring it back to council for a decision.
“Based on email correspondence from STAR Theatre representative Ryan Torrie, the inspection is expected to cost $900 and the appraisal is expected to cost $2,700. Combined together, this cost for these preliminary documents would cost $3,600,” reads administration’s report. Taber town council carried a motion on Oct. 13 to provide $7,000 in funding for a basic design for Tower Plaza and to find out a high-level probable cost to convert the building into a theatre.
While supportive of the project, council was hesitant to provide funding as the current economic climate continues to be murky at best as the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t let up.
“It’s a great idea, but in light of our current financial position, we don’t know where our linear tax is going. As we discussed in our budget, I’m not sure that we have any extra funds going to extra projects,” said Coun. Brian Brewin.
“As much as it pains me, I have to agree with Brian. This is a great project. At different times, it would be a no-brainer but the times we are facing now, I don’t know we need to be looking for new places to put money,” added Coun. John Turcato.
A motion to accept the memo as information was carried unanimously.