UPAC in­vestor ef­fort has mayor’s sup­port

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Paul Kirby pkirby@free­manon­line.com paulat­free­man on Twit­ter

Mayor Steve Noble says he sup­ports the ef­fort to lure a for-profit in­vestor to help fund ren­o­va­tions at the Ul­ster Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter’s on Broad­way.

Noble said the fund­ing plan put forth by the Bar­davon 1869 Opera House, which has op­er­ated UPAC since 2006, is likely to help Mid­town Kingston and the en­tire city.

“In or­der for UPAC to be­come an even greater as­set to our com­mu­nity, re­sources must be se­cured to im­prove and en­hance the fa­cil­ity,” Noble said in an email. “While the Bar­davon has made great progress in its fundrais­ing ef­forts, no lo­cal grants or re­sources have been iden­ti­fied to close

the fund­ing gap.”

Chris Silva, the Bar­davon’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, has said there’s $3.3 mil­lion on hand for the UPAC project but an­other $1.4 mil­lion is needed. The planned work in­cludes heat­ing and air con­di­tion­ing im­prove­ments, ad­di­tional rest rooms and up­grades to alarms and emer­gency light­ing.

The heat­ing and air con­di­tion­ing im­prove­ments would al­low UPAC to op­er­ate year-round.

“I am sup­port­ive of the Bar­davon’s pro­posal to es­tab­lish a for-profit en­tity so that it may at­tract the in­vestors nec­es­sary to as­sist UPAC in se­cur­ing the fi­nal re­sources nec­es­sary

and fi­nally be­come a true four-sea­son theater,” Noble wrote.

Silva praised the mayor for sup­port­ing the ef­fort.

“The mayor clearly un­der­stands how valu­able UPAC is to the city and county and how im­por­tant it is as an an­chor of the Mid­town Arts District,” he said in an email. “I have found that same un­der­stand­ing in all my con­ver­sa­tions with [Kingston] Com­mon Coun­cil mem­bers, [Ul­ster] County leg­is­la­tors and [Kingston] school board mem­bers. Ev­ery­one gets it.”

The city, county and school district are vi­tal to the plan be­cause any for­profit en­tity in­volved in UPAC, cur­rently a not-for­profit op­er­a­tion, would be tax­able, and the Bar­davon wants to se­cure tax ex­emp­tions that all three, along

with the Ul­ster County In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Agency, would have to ap­prove.

“I trust that the var­i­ous en­ti­ties cur­rently eval­u­at­ing this pro­posal will con­sider how im­por­tant this in­sti­tu­tion is and how a fully op­er­a­tional UPAC can spur ad­di­tional eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in our re­gion,” Nob­ble said.

Silva has said that in re­turn for an investment of $1,393,000, the for-profit en­tity would be­come a 99 per­cent owner of UPAC and would be able to ac­cess state and fed­eral his­toric tax cred­its for at least five years as part of a fed­eral pro­gram.

The Bar­davon would con­tinue to op­er­ate UPAC and make de­ci­sions about per­son­nel and artis­tic mat­ters, Silva said.

Silva has said the planned im­prove­ments at UPAC would:

• Help pre­serve the theater.

• Al­low it to op­er­ate dur­ing the sum­mer, “draw­ing thou­sands more vis­i­tors to the neigh­bor­hood and its busi­nesses dur­ing a pe­riod that has been tra­di­tion­ally quiet .... ”

• Cre­ate about 100 short­term con­struc­tion jobs.

• Triple the theater’s pub­lic rest room fa­cil­i­ties.

• Im­prove pub­lic safety in the theater.

• Gen­er­ate ad­di­tional sales tax rev­enue due to in­creased sales at nearby busi­nesses and UPAC concessions.

In the 10 years the Bar­davon has op­er­ated UPAC, it has in­vested $3 mil­lion in restor­ing and im­prov­ing the theater, Silva has said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.