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Still No Auditorium Contract in Burlington

Oct 25, 2013

The Burlington City Council could soon set a deadline to complete negotiations surrounding the future management of Memorial Auditorium.

Burlington's Memorial Auditorium

The city received a bid from VenuWorks (Ames, IA), in July, to manage the riverfront facility for more than $420,000 over five years.  The management would include the booking of events.

An immediate vote on that proposal was delayed over concerns raised by the Burlington Steamboat Days planning committee, specifically about the availability of liquor permits for various festival-related events.

Since then, the city has been working on a separate contract with BSD to address its concerns, but little progress appears to have been made at this point.

The city council is not expected to vote on the VenuWorks deal until the BSD deal is complete.

City Manager Jim Ferneau says because of that, the panel could place a deadline on the discussions to move the process forward.

He says the proposed contracts and the possibility of a deadline will be discussed during the city council's upcoming workshop.

Ferneau says there could also be talk of a proposal floated by Alderman Shane McCampbell, who said the city should close the auditorium for several years and use the money to replace the police station.

He says staff will try to present information in regards to potential savings at that time.