City approves funds for Leeds during closure

Published 12:45 pm Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Winchester Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to help cover operating expenses at Leeds Center for the Arts during its renovations.

The commissioners voted Tuesday evening to support up to $15,000 of the theater’s utilities and insurance while the 91-year-old theater undergoes some significant and needed restoration and repairs. The city previously paid for half the cost of replacing the roof on the downtown theater. Leeds Board president Tracey Miller said previously plaster needs to be replaced on one wall of the main theater, along with new carpet and paint.

In Miller’s letter to the commissioners, she said the theater would be closed from December through April 2017.

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Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner said the expenses were estimated to cost a little more than $21,000 annually, according to submitted invoices. Prorated expenses, though, would be less.

“(City Manager Matt Belcher’s) take on it was the $15,000 figure would be more acceptable,” Burtner said. “It’s clear the theater has done a lot of wonderful things for the community. It is an important element of Main Street.”

Commissioner Rick Beach made a motion to pay up to $15,000 of the theater’s expenses, provided invoices are submitted to the city. The motion was approved unanimously. 

In other action Tuesday, the commissioners:

— approved the second reading of an ordinance to increase meeting payments for members of the Winchester-Clark County Planning Commission and Winchester-Clark County Board of Adjustments.

— approved the first reading of an ordinance to rezone the Rural King property on Bypass Road from B3 to B4. Burtner said the change would allow for outside storage.

— approved budgeted appropriations for the nursing home ombudsman agency and the James B. Allen Generations Center.

— approved a catering bid from Chef Doug’s Gourmet Food for the city’s Christmas breakfast for employees.

— reclassified Jocelyn Bartmess from firefighter II/paramedic to firefighter III/paramedic.

— hired Steve D. Bellot as paramedic patient transfer specialist and Shanna D. Charles as EMT patient transfer specialist.

— hired Tracey E. Prater as firefighter I/EMT.

— reclassified Austin Carr, Jeremiah Dunn, Tiason Lockridge and Patrick Roberts from firefighter II/EMT to firefighter III/EMT.

— transferred Matthew Van Hauter from firefighter I/EMT to patient transfer specialist.

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About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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