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Longmont to Contribute to Fireworks Display, Arts Center Study

February 13, 2019
Lightning appears in the sky southwest of Longmont during the 2018 Fourth of July fireworks show. The city on Tuesday approved providing $15,000 in bridge money in order to secure a vendor for this year's show as private fundraising continues.

Longmont City Council on Tuesday approved funding to ensure the July 4 fireworks show will go on, as well as an effort to explore the feasibility of a performing arts center.

In a unanimous vote without discussion, council approved providing $15,000 in city funds to help secure a contract with a vendor to produce the Fourth of July fireworks show at the Boulder County Fairgrounds.

Likewise, in another no-discussion unanimous vote, it gave the OK for the city to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with other organizations who plan to spend as much as $150,000 to hire a consultant to study the feasibility of developing a performing arts, cultural and conference center in Longmont

The city would contribute $10,000 toward the study’s expense.

Longmont’s Skyline Kiwanis Club and the Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce are raising money to cover the cost of this year’s July 4 fireworks show, but that effort does not yet have the projected $32,000 needed to proceed with contracting with a vendor, according to city staff.

City staff has reported that the Kiwanis and the Chamber have raised $17,000 toward the event, which the city said has a projected cost of at least $32,000.

However, a contract with a vendor needs to be in place soon.

Municipal code requires money be appropriated prior to signing contracts, so the city will put up as much as $15,000 in what staff called “bridge money” — to secure a contract with a vendor for the show, even as private fundraising continues, staff reported.

As for the $150,000 performing arts facility study, other partners in funding it are to be: the Longmont Performing Arts Initiative, $75,000; Visit Longmont, $50,000; the Longmont Community Foundation, $5,000; the Longmont Downtown Development Authority, $5,000; the Longmont Chamber of Commerce, $2,500, and the Longmont Economic Development Partnership, $2,500.

Longmont Performing Arts Initiative members include Centennial State Ballet, Longmont Chorale, Longmont Concert Band, Longmont Symphony Orchestra, Longmont Youth Symphony and Longs Peak Chorus.

Kimberly Taylor, who identified herself as an active member of the Performing Arts Initiative and a Centennial State Ballet board member, told council that the performing arts center would attract patrons, businesses and learning experiences for the students in the community.

John Fryar: 303-684-5211, jfryar@times-call.com or twitter.com/jfryartc

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