Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Peekskill Officials to Search for New Management at Paramount Building

Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster said the locks have been changed to the building for the Paramount Center for the Arts and the city's Corporation Council is working on RFP for new management at the space.

While the City is moving immediately to get the theater operational again, officials are still waiting for a response from the existing board of directors of the Paramount Center for the Arts as to their plan to satisfy their existing financial obligations.
On Oct. 5, the City sent a written request to the board of directors to submit a written reorganization plan by Oct. 19. As a registered not-for-profit agency in New York State, the board of directors of the Paramount Center for the Arts is required to provide a final financial audit to the state.
The City of Peekskill is not responsible for any financial obligations incurred by the current operator, the Paramount Center for the Arts, and all inquiries related to its obligations should be directed to their board and its president.

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Peekskill city officials said they are searching for new management to run the Paramount Center for the Arts after the theater’s board of directors announced the facility was going on a hiatus earlier this month.

“Our corporation council has been counsel has been dealing with the hired attorney’s of the Paramount board and the staff is working on developing a RFP that will go out for proposal in a very wide circle to see what proposal we’ll get back,” Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster said during Monday’s common council meeting.

Paramount officials made the announcement following a September fundraising campaign in which the goals was to raise $300,000. Vincent Vesce, the board president, said the money was needed to make up for a decrease in grants, sponsorships and other contributions.

According to the Paramount’s last filing with the state Charities Bureau on Aug. 31, 2011, the theater recorded a little more than $1,758,202 in expenses and $1,379,380 in expenses.

The Paramount has a deal in place to lease the building from the City of Peekskill for a dollar a year through 2033.

“There is a legal process to go through when the Paramount just announced on Oct. 3 that they were ceasing operations to getting this point—and getting control of the building,” Foster said.

Foster said locks to the building have been changed and the corporation council is working the Paramount’s attorney’s to determine what assets still exist in the building, what assets belong to the city and what assets belong to the Paramount. This information is necessary to determine what goes inside the RFP that’s sent out, according to Foster.

“Their [the Paramount’s] financial obligations are their financial obligations and they are working with their attorney’s on how they will deal with their obligations that they have to ticket holders, artists who have been cancelled, businesses, etc.,” Foster said.