By Steve Capps
For the Star-Gazette
The Beardstown Opera House cleared a big hurdle standing between them and a sorely needed new roof this week. The nonprofit group that represents the city’s only building on the National Register of Historic Sites has been raising funds for over a year for the project.
They have raised $12,000 so far. This week they received the approval of the Beardstown TIF District for the remaining funds needed.
The opera house has a bid from Campbell Roofing to do the job for $54,500. That figure does not include replacement of any decking. The nonprofit asked the TIF district for funds up to the amount of the bid, allowing them to use their $12,000 to cover the cost of any decking that might be needed.
“Are we going to be giving 100 percent?” asked City Clerk Petie Ruch. “If we do that, we are opening the doors for everybody in town who doesn’t want to fix their building.”
“I don’t think we are setting a precedent,” said Mayor Steve Patterson. “This is a nonprofit. It’s not like anyone will personally benefit. If we don’t do it we are going to lose the only building we have on the national register.”
Since the project exceeds $30K, which the opera house building automatically qualifies for under TIF rules, the measure will have to be approved by the city council. The TIF committee voted unanimously to recommend funding in the amount of $42,500 up to $54,500 with the Opera House contributing $12,000.