Public raises financial concerns at RPL community meeting - – Rockford’s News Leader

Public raises financial concerns at RPL community meeting

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Rockford library administrators, and board members, still haven't made up their minds about what to do with a donated piece of property. They won't make any move without public opinion.

Some people are worried about the financial impact the Sullivan Theater will have on the library, but the Board of Trustees President estimates, by its third year, the project will be in the black.

"Our intentions are that this facility will be used a lot, by many, many groups, most of whom will pay something for the support of the building, and that the building will support itself." -says RPL Board President Paul Logli.

He isn't worried about the money available to take on this project.

"It's actually a very small part of the budget, we have an $8 million budget, we expect this building to maybe cost $160,000 a year to operate, and I think a lot of that expense can be offset by rental fee arrangements, grants, and contributions."

Initial costs could have been much higher. The current owner already put a lot of money into renovations and improvements. The meeting wasn't all about numbers, local artists were there, raising concerns about censorship, and supporting the idea of renting out offices.

"The spaces upstairs are amazing. I mean, I'm looking for an affordable studio if I want to shoot a TV commercial. If I want to do casting calls or group people together, it's a great, affordable space." -says cinematographer Pablo Korona.

President Logli says acquiring this new building doesn't mean the downtown public library is in jeopardy.

"Nothing's going to change over there, because we have Sullivan, except some of the programs are going to be moved over here."

The earliest that board members can discuss taking on the center will be sometime in August. If a board majority votes yes, the center could be up and running by September.

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