Saturday, April 5, 2008

$15 Million for Downtown Performance Art Center?

On April 5, NewsLanc broke the news that $15 million in state funds is being earmarked for a Performance Art Center in downtown Lancaster.

First public word concerning the possibility of such a facility was reported by the New Era on September 10.

It quoted Mayor Rick Gray as saying: "The orchestra is a home run and with a bigger hall where they could perform for a larger audience, it would be a grand slam ... And the hall would be available for other major things."

On April 6, a Sunday News article reported that senate candidate Steve McDonald "blasted the Senate's approval last week of a $12.7 billion capital budget as full of pork. He pointed to a $15 million line item for a performing arts center in Lancaster, which he said county commissioners didn't even know about..."

The article goes on to say that Senator Gib Armstrong retorted that "The capital budget 'means absolutely, positively nothing, except to get something funded, you have to have it in the capital budget first.'"

Talk of $15 million for a performance art center caused concern that an attempt may be underway to divert hitherto promised funds from projects already advanced in their planning.