Last-minute budget tweeks for Greensboro’s downtown performing arts center

Last night the Greensboro City Council approved $3.1 million in budget amendments for the city’s downtown Tanger Center for the Performing Arts, which is scheduled to open in March.

According to the News & Record:

One of the resolutions council passed — by a 7-1 vote — calls for $2.6 million to pay for city-requested alternate designs and features of the center. A little more than $2 million comes from sponsorship money recently announced and $560,000 comes from other city revenues, including fees on tickets sold.

….A second resolution passed Tuesday added $500,000 to the venue’s budget to cover professional service and purchasing contracts for theatrical equipment.

A third resolution dealt with accounting measures for the funding.

There was one other agenda item that was delayed until Jan. 21— a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, which is responsible for raising private donations to help offset the city’s cost:

On Jan. 21, the council is scheduled to vote on the “memorandum of understanding” with the foundation, which would formally increase the city’s monetary commitment to the Tanger Center. If approved, the agreement will reflect that the city has increased its funding for the project to about $46 million while the foundation will continue to dedicate $42 million.

With the additional money, the Tanger Center’s budget will be roughly $93 million — $88 million for the project and $5 million in bond-related financing costs — shared by the city and private donors.

It’s good that private donations are shouldering a good chunk of the cost for the Tanger Center. By the same token, Rhino Times editor John Hammer points out:

This is far from the first time the MOU has been amended. Greensboro started out promising to pay $30 million and the Community Foundation $35 million.

Back in 2012, the first time building a downtown performing arts center was discussed by the City Council, the amount the Community Foundation was supposed to raise was $10 million.

Watching the Tanger Center go up over the past couple of years–and looking at the scheduled lineup of acts—has probably eased budgetary fears on the part of Greensboro residents. to the contrary–it’s generated a fair amount of excitement. But it doesn’t change the fact that the price has gone up considerably over the years.

Sam Hieb / Contributing Editor

Sam Hieb is freelance journalist from Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a contributing editor for Carolina Journal and for Piedmont Publius, a blog that focuses on political a...

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