Brent Martin and Don Wendel showed a short video showing the council what the inside of the building when renovations are completed. They explained that the Rees Theatre has been awarded a $300,000 from Regional Cities but a $1.5 million local match is required by the end of March. At this time the Rees committee has secures in-kind goods and service donations totaling $250,000 to $300,000 and about that same amount in private donations. Total cost for the renovations is estimated to be $3.46 million. Construction would begin in 2019 with completion planned for February 2020, the 80th anniversary of the theatre’s opening.
Members of the Rees Project committee already appeared before the Redevelopment Commission in January seeking funding of $575,000 for the project. Commission members were willing to consider the project and felt that TIF District 1 would be able to fund the project.
The process to approve the addition of a project to the TIF District requires the approval of the Plymouth Plan Commission and the City Council. The Plan Commission considered the project at their meeting earlier this month. Looking at the Comprehensive Plan, the Rees Theatre was mentioned in the plan with hopes that someone would bring it back to life.
City Councilman Gary Cook questioned funding the Rees using TIF #1 funds since the project lies in TIF #3. He also questioned if there was enough revenue not already obligated to cover the proposed project.
City Councilman Jeff Houin offered a motion to add the Rees to the TIF project list noting that their job is merely to approve the project and not consider the funding, leaving that to the Redevelopment Commission. The motion passed 6 to 1 with Cook being the lone no vote.
The Redevelopment Commission will consider the Rees Theatre project on March 27th at 5:30. There will be a public hearing on the request.