December 17, 2013 - 2:05 PM
PENTICTON - A $125,000 shot in the arm might be too large a dose but council still approved the loan to the new Penmar cinema/theatre project.
Coun. Andrew Jakubeit said Penmar's stakeholders have a "realistic action plan", a great location and the support of professional fundraisers such as the Penticton Community Arts Society, the Downtown Penticton Association and Jennifer Vincent of Cowork Penticton.
At Monday's council meeting, Jakubiet explained this could go a long way to get people downtown and on Martin Street where the Penmar is located.
Coun. Katie Robinson was hesitant to fork over $125,000 but she was told this was not taxpayers' money. The funds come from fees charged to developers who want to expand or add another floor to their existing buildings. There is currently $282,000 from this collection of fees with $157,000 earmarked for affordable housing and $125,000 for public amenities.
Robinson said she is "going to get on the train."
"The amount they are asking for is quite a bit," Coun. Helena Konanz said. She wanted to loan Penmar $75,000 and spend $50,000 for downtown public washrooms but this motion received no support.
Development director Anthony Haddad said the project will employ 10 persons for the construction phase and up to 40 persons for the second phase. Once opened the three-theatre establishment will have two full-time and up to 15 part-time positions.
Vincent said the $125,000 will cover capital expenses such as paying for 600 seats the three theatres will need as well as a concession stand.
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The Penmar cinema as it exists today. The project backers recently received a $125,000 loan to fund capital projects.
(SHANNON QUESNEL /InfoTel Multimedia)
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