Grants take center stage in Valatie theater plans

VALATIE –The Village Board heard from representatives of the Valatie Community Theatre at their regular meeting Tuesday, October 9. The theater building on Main Street is owned by the village but the events are put on by a not-for-profit organization run by an all-volunteer board.

Community Theatre board members Craig Hancock and Tom Barber were at the meeting to say that they will be coming before the board soon with a breakdown of numbers of audience sizes and performances, and that they would like to discuss finances with the village.

Mr. Hancock said he felt there had been a “lack of communication back and forth” between the theater board and the village board. But he said, “we’re all on the same side” of wanting to see the theater stay open and thrive.

Recently work started on new front windows for the building and a temporary banner was put up as sign for the performance space. Mr. Barber said that future plans include winterizing the building, which would mean insulating the walls and making repairs to the flooring. He said that all together there is about $3-million worth of work that still needs to be done. He and Mr. Hancock stressed to the board that they were looking for grants to help with the projects.

“Every piece of work that’s been done there to date has been volunteer,” said Mr. Barber. He said another board member has been putting together requests for proposals with the scope of work that needs to be done so the theater board can get prices for the work.

“It can’t be anything but good to get this theater turned around,” said Mr. Barber of the upgrades.

Mr. Hancock, who has been on the theater board for a decade, said that the theater has come a long way. He said they are hosting several music programs that “we do make money on.” He also talked about the youth theater program in the summer, which is free for local kids. He said that gets hundreds of people into the theater.

Mayor Diane Argyle said the board would support the theater if they were looking at grants.

Also at the meeting:

• The board and the county Sheriff’s Office signed an agreement that the village will pay the sheriff deputies’ overtime for the deputies to attend court when there is a case involving a village parking ticket they have issued. So far, the mayor said, the deputies have given out about 50 tickets and that only a few people have plead not guilty and had to go to court. The deputy who gives the vehicle owner the ticket must also appear in court. For every ticket the village receives the fees of the fine

• The Spirit of Valatie award will be given to Betty “Pinky” Laviano on Sunday, October 28 at 2 p.m. at the Valatie Senior Center. Ms. Laviano has volunteered for several village and town programs. She was also the first director to the village’s Senior Center

• The board agreed to purchase cyber security insurance for a cost of $1,100 a year. Mayor Argyle said their insurance agent suggested the village add the cyber insurance

• In a discussion of cell phone reception in the village the board considered a special program offered by Verzion for a communication system during an emergency. But the mayor pointed out that there is no reception for Verzion users in much of the village. She said that she has told representatives from Verzion about the poor service

• The board approved putting in emergency lights on the exit signs in the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building. The village has received funds to cover part of the cost. The total cost to do about 18 lights is over $700 but the village will pay about $300.

The next meeting is Tuesday, November 13 at 7 p.m.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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