New Albany News

McCoy center maintenance

Partners seem amenable to $1-per-ticket fee


New Albany City Council and the Plain Township trustees have expressed support for the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts' suggestion to charge a $1-per-ticket fee for events at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts.

The revenue from the ticket fee would support improvements and maintenance at the McCoy.

City Council on Aug. 5 voted 6-0 to support the fee. Councilwoman Colleen Briscoe was absent.

Plain Township trustees discussed the fee Aug. 6. Trustee Dave Olmstead said he already informed the McCoy board that the township supports the fee.

New Albany Mayor Nancy Ferguson said the fee would be consistent with what CAPA charges at other facilities it manages.

"It makes good business sense to use revenues for maintenance," City Councilman Sloan Spalding said.

City Councilman Glyde Marsh asked for clarification, saying the city actually could not charge the fee but City Council could make a recommendation to the McCoy board to institute a fee.

City Attorney Mitch Banchefsky confirmed his explanation.

Olmstead told trustees David Ferguson and Tom Rybski the McCoy board and CAPA are compiling information on the expected life span of the center's equipment, including lighting and sound systems, in an effort to determine how much money would be needed to replace systems.

The New Albany Community Foundation, another partner in the McCoy, also backs the fee of $1 per ticket.

"We're supportive," said Craig Mohre, executive director of the community foundation. "That's pretty standard in that industry to add a small user fee just to maintain the facility."

The fourth partner, the New Albany-Plain Local school board, has not discussed the fee.

The four arts-center partners, who helped to build the facility, still contribute funding.

"All of the parties recognize a need to have the resources in place for capital improvements as the building ages," said David Martin, McCoy board chairman. "I believe that such a fee makes sense and is a responsible way to help protect this valuable public asset. It places some of the responsibility of facility maintenance on those who use the facility."

CAPA was hired last year to manage the facility.

Olmstead said CAPA also is reviewing the McCoy operating agreement, which includes information on rights and responsibilities of all supporting partners.

Olmstead said CAPA wants to clarify spending authority to determine what can be purchased without the partners' consent. He said, for example, the facility needs an ice maker, which is expected to cost a few thousand dollars and should be able to be purchased without approval of all partners.