Council will discuss additional $35,000 for auditorium fund
On Tuesday evening, the Washington City Council will determine whether to increase the city’s donation to build an auditorium onto Washington High School in order for the auditorium committee to receive a $1.4 million grant from Vision Iowa.
The city will also be required to enter a 28E agreement with the school district for the Vision Iowa grant to be approved. According to Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson, the Vision Iowa Board has requested the city donate $50,000 to the project instead of the $15,000, which was planned. He explained the reason for the increase was for the Vision Iowa Board to ensure the project had city approval.
“This is definitely a curve ball,” Hinson said. “This wasn’t anything the Auditorium Committee did. They were surprised to hear about this. They are working with a consultant and he was surprised by the request.”
Hinson said that the reason for the request is that Vision Iowa doesn’t fund school infrastructure needs. He said that community support needs to be shown as proof it isn’t a school infrastructure project.
On April 1, for the first time in 50 years, the residents of the Washington School District approved a $1.1 million bond referendum to pay for part of the $7 million auditorium project.
Hinson said that the $15,000 that the city had donated was going to be paid in $5,000 increments over the next three years with proceeds from the Washington County Riverboat Foundation. He said that if the council approves the new amount, it would be paid in $10,000 increments over the next five years. He said that the money would remain Riverboat funds and it would not be taxpayer money.
The Vision Iowa grant was the final piece before construction of the auditorium was scheduled to begin. If approved, the project may begin this fall and be completed for the beginning of the 2015 school year.