Ketchikan funds arts center plan

Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009

KETCHIKAN - Ketchikan officials have approved a $500,000 appropriation for a proposed performing arts center.

The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly voted 4-2 this week to take the money from a commercial passenger vessel fund.

Ketchikan Theatre Ballet and First City Players plan to buy and renovate a building on Main Street for about $5 million to create the center.

Assembly member Glen Thompson, among the no votes, said the appropriation is not a proper use of the fund, and it could be challenged by the cruise line industry.

State law requires the money to be used to improve port and harbor facilities or cruise ship tourist-related services.

The assembly shot down an amendment proposed by Thompson that would have required the organizations to repay funds if the grant was successfully challenged in court.

The grant agreement does stipulate that the organizations would help with defense in litigation.

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