At the Greensboro City Council meeting Tuesday, Jan. 7, the council will take votes and conduct the city’s business.
Which may not sound like news, but for the past two years the City Council has held a meeting on the first Tuesday of the month where it did neither. The council, with the notable exception of Councilmember Sharon Hightower, sat and heard speakers come to the podium and speak for five minutes about whatever was on their minds, but by agreement did not discuss their statements or take action.
Four items on the agenda concerning The Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts are likely to cause some discussion Tuesday night. There are four items but they all deal with one issue: The city is adding $2.9 million to its side of the ledger to build The Tanger, which is a project jointly funded with the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro.
Money from sponsorships is being added to The Tanger construction budget. Over $1 million of this money was announced in 2018 as coming from the Schiffman family of Schiffman’s Jewelers and the Koury family of the Koury Corporation. So the money has been available but is only now getting added to the construction budget.
If the motions pass, the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the City of Greensboro and the Community Foundation will be amended so that amount the city will spend on The Tanger is increased from $42.879 million to $45.874 million and the amount the Community Foundation is responsible for paying will remain at $4.826 million.
One of the many unusual aspects of the funding for The Tanger is that the city is funding its portion with parking fees, ticket fees and the hotel-motel tax, not property taxes.
This is far from the first time the MOU has been amended. Greensboro started out promising to pay $30 million and the Community Foundation $35 million.
Back in 2012, the first time building a downtown performing arts center was discussed by the City Council, the amount the Community Foundation was supposed to raise was $10 million.
The Tanger has shows scheduled in March and reportedly is on schedule to open on time.