By Dan Spalding
WARSAW – Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts on Wednesday, May 11, sought money from the Kosciusko County
Convention, Recreation & Visitors Commission to help pay for hotel accommodations while its facility normally used for housing undergoes emergency repairs.
A request for $80,000 to cover hotel expenses for about 20 people for the holiday season performances in December was turned down, but the board approved $15,000 to be used for a new website for the entertainment center in Warsaw.
The board balked at the hotel request because they prefer to provide support for aspects other than operational expenses, said board member Mark Skibowski.
Wagon Wheel Executive Director Lakesha Green said they were looking to ease one burden in hopes of directing money to another issue and mentioned White Hill Manor, an adjoining property, which has some serious roof damage.
White Hil is normally used to house actors and staff, but they’re currently looking at other options.
Green was joined by about 15 staff members and supporters, including County Councilmember Joni Truex, for the request Wednesday morning in the old courthouse.
After learning about roof repairs, board members suggested they would be more inclined to help with that.
“We can talk about those things,” Skibowski said.
Wagon Wheel officials were encouraged to return in July with a revised request.
The request comes as the theater attempts to recover after two difficult years under the pandemic.
Staff was asked about long-term expansion plans at Wagon Wheel and a looming fundraising campaign needed to finance it. Those plans are still looming but are probably a few years away, Green said.
The board approved the $15,000 request for the website. That is contingent upon approval of an additional appropriation in June by County Council. The additional appropriation is needed because the money allocated for 2022 is nearly exhausted.
Green said the current website is not user-friendly and sometimes crashes.
The board also approved providing $10,643 to Lake City Skiers for the construction of a new storage building.
In another matter, a financial report for 2021 shows income from the state inkeepers tax is recovering. Below are inkeepers tax revenues for the past nine years:
- $495,328 in 2013
- $543,247 in 2014
- $580,308 in 2015
- $588,960 in 2016
- $659,202 in 2017
- $671,232 in 2018
- $672,562 in 2019
- $325,597 in 2020
- $532,875 in 2021
$143,153 has been generated in revenues in the first four months of 2022.