IBJOpinion

Carmel Performing Arts Center not too big to fail

May 8, 2010
Keywords
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
IBJ Letters To The Editor

Cory Schouten’s [April 26 Focus] article regarding the supposed “momentum” for Carmel’s Performing Arts Center (PAC) lacked information, and clouded the overall picture. Interviews were conducted with Mayor [Jim] Brainard, Councilman [Rick] Sharp, who voted for all the funding that has doubled the cost of the PAC, and Councilwoman [Luci] Snyder. These individuals continually orchestrate the mantra that the project is “too big to fail.” But potential failure might be seen in the numbers.

The original pledge of an $80 million PAC has morphed to $169 million-plus, not $108 million as reported, and further building additions and enhancements ordered by the mayor and his majority-appointed Carmel Redevelopment Commission (CRC) undoubtedly will escalate the ultimate cost. Several LLC entities developed by the CRC, including one for $13 million for building the 500-seat Main Stage Theater (MST), have only recently been publicly disclosed. The question is how much more spending may have been concealed from the public.

At issue is why the mayor and the Carmel Council originally approved the PAC without having any private or corporate donations to commence the project, or to fund an endowment to secure its viability. Though the mayor has promised, for the last five years, to raise $40 [million] to $60 million for that purpose, only a fractional amount has been collected.

Now the mayor has requested of the council a $2 million grant, from the city’s rainy-day fund, so that the PAC Foundation can operate to year’s end. The mayor has heretofore assured Carmel citizens that no resident taxes will be used for the PAC. However, this year he backpedaled on that pledge, claiming that he was referring only to construction costs.

In the interim, the mayor and CRC concluded an agreement to lure the Indianapolis Civic Theatre to the project. After 30 years of incremental payments, amounting to $10 million, Civic would be granted a 50-percent fee-simple interest in the MST, an interest in the rehearsal hall, classrooms priority, usage of a 200-seat black-box theater not originally planned, and a potential lock on every performing weekend of the year. It also disallowed any “Broadway-style” plays to be held in the PAC venue by other theater groups. An unconscionable agreement, in my opinion, for a project that will cost Carmel taxpayers $75 million or more, including long-term interest.

The mayor originally estimated a PAC $350,000 operating deficit per annum, but now it appears to be in the millions. This does not bode well for Carmel’s fiscal stability if resident taxes, in addition to business property taxes, are continually tendered to support or complete this project. Additionally, an Indianapolis Star article showed that millions of CRC debt went unreported on a recent financial statement. More investigation is obviously needed in respect to many Carmel issues.

____________

Marnin Spigelman

ADVERTISEMENT

  • The flawed PALLADIUM
    Marnin Spigelman is the TRUE Consciousness
    of Carmel Indiana.
    He is RIGHT, and he stands up for what
    is RIGHT.
    The PALLADIUM is a SUPER MONEY-PIT, and
    so fiscally wasteful.
    Marnin Spigelman is the "TOPS".
    On the other hand, Carmel "mayor" Jim
    Brainard, and Rick Sharp, are dunder-headed
    dolts.
    Spigelman for Carmel's MAYOR in 2011.
  • The flawed PALLADIUM
    Marnin Spigelman is the TRUE Consciousness
    of Carmel Indiana.
    He is RIGHT, and he stands up for what
    is RIGHT.
    The PALLADIUM is a SUPER MONEY-PIT, and
    so fiscally wasteful.
    Marnin Spigelman is the "TOPS".
    On the other hand, Carmel "mayor" Jim
    Brainard, and Rick Sharp, are dunder-headed
    dolts.
    Spigelman for Carmel's MAYOR in 2011.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

ADVERTISEMENT