Council Appears Agreeable to EPC Request for Funding

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Published on July 3 2013 2:38 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Members of the Effingham City Council Tuesday appeared to favor an award of $100,000 to the Effingham Performance Center.

The funds would come from hotel/motel tax dollars and would help the EPC at a time when it appears the venue is turning the financial corner.

The facility lost money its first couple of years, but broke even during the past year.

Tom Henderson is co-chair, with Dr. Ruben Boyajian, of Arts Connection of Central Illinois, the not-for-profit group that operates the theater.  Henderson told the Council there are three main reasons to support the operation...entertainment, education and quality of life.

(ARTS CONNECTION OF CENTRAL ILLINOIS CO-CHAIRS TOM HENDERSON AND DR. RUBEN BOYAJIAN)

Entertainment is easily explained, education involves the teaching going on to train young people in the arts, and quality of life is the intangible that draws people to the area.

Henderson also discussed an effort underway to raise $750,000 to support the theater.  He said donors have agreed to offer a 35% match to any funds raised.

It's expected a vote on the allocation of funds will come at the Council's next meeting.

Also Tuesday, the Council authorized a lease of real estate where Russ Braunecker Cadillac-Buick-GMC can display vehicles...approved a $20,000 allocation of funds to the Effingham City/County Committee on Aging...approved a sewer line study in an area bordered by Wabash Avenue, Willow Street, Fourth Street and Market Avenue...purchased a camera for sanitary and storm sewer inspections...purchased a vac truck for use by the street and sewer departments...and approved the purchase of a fire department vehicle for just under $445,000, utilizing $270,000 in carryover funds from last year's budget to allow the purchase to occur without borrowing funds, a point of contention when the issue was discussed at a previous meeting.

The Council agreed to lease ground south of the NAPA Store for the Gabby Goat to use for parking...approved a proposal for the summer street maintenance program...and agreed to pay for traffic pre-emption equipment to be installed on traffic signals to be a part of the reconstruction of the US 45 interchange at I-57/70 when the interchange is reconstructed as part of the ongoing interstate project through Effingham.

Council members discussed an agreement with Effingham Unit 40 school district and with St. Anthony Schools for the school crossing guard program.  The City would hire the guards but the schools would administer the guards.  The City would levy funds to pay for the program.  The Council also agreed to take bids to replace a sewer force main on Temple Avenue.

Council members also got a look at the new Effingham-opoly game.  It's Monopoly,  but it features locations around Effingham on the gameboard.  It costs $30, and it's available at Martin's IGA+ and at the Effingham Performance Center as a fundraiser for the EPC.