Friday, September 29, 2017
TKC MUST READ!!! SHAWNEE COUNCIL DUDE FUMES OVER ONGOING TAXPAYER CRITICISM OF AZTEC MOVIE THEATER SUBSIDY!!!
The local controversy over municipal subsidy of a movie house is interesting for a lot of reasons that are slightly more captivating than Youtube videos.
We talked this controversy in relation to tech trends but now it's only fair that we offer a Council Dude his say:
Let's set the record straight...
Jeff Vaught was absent at the meeting and didn't even vote. Dan Pflumm was also absent but he likely would have supported the project since he knows the owners and recommended they approach the city for assistance in the first place.
The vote was 5-1 (the only NO vote was Mike Kemmling, but he praised the project even as he voted no, on principle, as he usually does with financing of these types of projects, which he always explains why very well). Eric Jenkins also voted YES and spoke in support of the project. The Mayor also supported the project. Dave Myers also said after the meeting he would have supported the project.
Several of us had issues with the cost and scope of the original proposal, as well as lack of clawbacks and recovery options, which is why the investors went back to the drawing board and the new proposal includes protections that ensure the city recovers all funds in the event of a sellout or if operations cease for any reason. The funding was also scaled back by half. Eric and Stephanie proposed further changes to ensure the city would be protected in the event of a bankruptcy and recover the full $250K if the theater sold to new ownership.
This building would likely have remained vacant for another decade or two at least, not generating any revenue and impeding downtown's ability to remain viable and retain and attract new business. Also, this theatre will be showing classic films, foreign language films, and independent films and may have the ability to support live, dramatic performances as well. The Shawnee downtown business community was very supportive of this project and we heard from several of them.
I had 11 total phone calls and emails on this project and only one opposed the funding for it.
Have a great day,
This one is interesting because we normally don't often see suburbanites so voraciously defend the cinema AND the discussion reveals that the debate over "creative class" subsidy is now moving to the suburbs.
Developing . . .