“A certain level of subsidy”

Here’s Monroe county exec Maggie Brooks at the unveiling of the design for the performing arts center piece of Rochester’s proposed Renaissance square:

Other questions weren’t answered so completely. One suggested that there may be a $2 million annual operating loss for the performing arts center and a $3 million loss for the bus station. County Executive Maggie Brooks rejected the question’s premise. “Those figures aren’t accurate,” she said.

Brooks admitted, though, that the project might not be self-sustaining.

“I think it would be disingenuous to say there won’t be any subsidy at all,” Brooks said. “There is a certain level of subsidy that the community will accept.”

To minimize that subsidy, Brooks said, the project’s principals have adhered to a guideline of “What is affordable, what is sustainable.”

“We want to live up to that,” she said.

Also unknown is how the performing arts center will be operated.

“These are conversations that will continue,” said Brooks.

Okay. So we aren’t going to be sinking $5 million annually into this . . . thing. But it is going to be an ongoing drain. Of an unknown magnitude. Over & above the public money already appropriated for it. No matter, open your checkbook cuz the pols say so. Open your checkbook, because hey, you’re fine with “a certain level of subsidy.”

Think we’re fooled? We’re not. Poll results: only 22 percent of us think this is a “good” or “great” idea. Half think it’s a bad idea.

I’ve blogged about this topic here, and here, and here. Not just grousing, either, I’m honestly trying to figure out what would work for this city. See also this post & comment thread on the subject at 2Blowhards for a breath of intelligent perspective on our little project.

[tags] Rochester, New York, Renaissance Square [/tags]

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  1. Pingback: KirstenMortensen.com » Blog Archive » Too stupid for words, but I’ll dig some up, somehow

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