Q&A: Opera House – Referendum Question B

1. Will my taxes go up if Referendum B passes?
No. No tax increases are proposed at all and a loan costs less than the $250,000 per year lowering carrying costs to the City.

2. Is the city going into the theater business?
No. The City will request proposals from management companies to operate the Cultural Arts Center with proceeds from successful operations carrying salaries and operating expenses.

3. Will it just be opera? I don’t even like opera…
No. Theatre, dance recitals, lectures, roots music, movies – the world of the arts and humanities is open to performances in the Cultural Arts Center.

4. Will it be done by 2018 with the referendum passing?
Yes.

5. Will it be done by 2018 if the referendum doesn’t pass?
No. Operating on a lean fiscally conservative budget the City cannot cut programs deep enough to acquire the full amount needed to complete construction from existing funds.

6. Will community groups, dance classes and musicians uses the Cultural Arts Center at the Opera House?
Yes.

7. Is the city going to stop looking for grants & sponsors if the referendum passes?
The City always seeks grants and sponsorships and works extensively with numerous community partners and collaborations to seek such opportunities.

8. Will the Opera House Foundation dissolve if the referendum passes?
The Opera House Foundation is the City’s greatest and strongest ally in ensuring a vibrant cultural arts center for the citizens of Havre de Grace through preservation and renovation of the historic Opera House is supported and completed. This in no way will change.

9. Will the City use new money raised and grants to pay down the loan?
Over the past two years $1.8 million has been raised through fundraisers and grant funds sought by the City of Havre de Grace. This is almost half of the cost of the project.
The City of Havre de Grace Mayor and City Council signed a Resolution to support cultural arts and an Arts and Entertainment District in the City in 2010 – this is the first major initiative in support of that resolution.
Restoration and renovation for accessibility to all is more fiscally and socially responsible than continued patch and repair to a non-compliant building that did not meet code and could not, therefore, generate revenue.

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