Committee recommends $150,000 for opera company

The Utah Festival Opera Company will receive $150,000 in RAPZ/Restaurant tax money if the Cache County Council accepts a recommendation from a committee.The committee, headed by Council Chairman Craig Peterson, has recommended a one-time appropriation of $150,000 to help the oepra company meet a budget crisis year. The recommendation comes with several stipulations and prior to the disbursement of the money, the UFO will need to provide the Cache County Council with a viable long-term financial plan.Peterson said committee members consider the UFOC to be very important to Cache Valley as it’s an organization that promotes tourism and has a positive effect on the perceived image of the valley.

<strong>The following is the official, full-length recommendation from the committee:</strong>

$150,000 be allocated to UFOC in 2009 by the County Council from the Restaurant Tax balance with the following stipulations:1. This is a one-time appropriation to meet a budget crisis and it will not be approved in future years. However, to the extent possible, the Council will continue to fund UFOC’s marketing and operations support applications as it has in the past.2. UFOC’s Board of Directors will be expanded to include one voting member designated by the County Council and approved by the current UFOC Board in accordance with UFOC’s by-laws. In addition, current board members will assume a more active role in monitoring UFOC finances, including any expansion of operations.3. Prior to disbursement of the $150,000, UFOC will provide the Council with a viable long-term financial plan (based on balanced budgets) that will not require additional support from county funds. As part of this plan, it is recommended that UFOC establish a legally-restricted endowment fund to enhance long-term financial stability.4. UFOC will work with the Cache Valley Center for the Arts to determine how costs can be reduced by greater coordination of efforts, including but not limited to consolidation of box office services, technical support, and marketing. The two organizations will provide their findings to the Council by January 1, 2010.

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