The Boca Raton Community Redevelopment Agency voted in August to assume ownership of the Count de Hoernle Amphitheatre at Mizner Park.
The city ended its 99-year lease with the Centre for the Arts at Mizner Park, the nonprofit group that built the amphitheater in 2002 on city land, and will take over the amphitheater’s remaining $588,000 mortgage. The city also will pay off up to $300,000 in debt incurred by the Centre for the Arts for such cultural events as Festival of the Arts Boca.
In return, the city will receive the 4,500-seat amphitheater, valued at about $5 million, and any other cash and assets the arts group has.
The city took over the venue about a year after the Centre for the Arts told officials that it would need substantial support from the city to survive.
The amphitheater has hosted few performances and has fallen into disrepair because of a dispute between Centre for the Arts and concert promoter Live Nation, and the arts group said it couldn’t afford the $500,000 a year maintenance. City officials said it needed significant repairs.
The contract with Live Nation has since expired.
The city has hired one person to plan events and book acts, and plans to hire two more to run the amphitheater.
Next year’s budget includes about $1 million to repair and maintain the amphitheater and an additional $750,000 to produce events.
— Staff reports
Boca Raton budget update
Tentative tax rate: $3.69 per $1,000 assessed property value*
2009-10 tax rate: $3.34 per $1,000
Change in property value: 9.2 percent decrease
Total Budget (Operating and Capital): $466.4 million
Total proposed cuts/savings: $4.6 million for primary cuts
What’s at stake: Anticipated cuts include staff and police salaries and benefits; the youth center; reduced operating hours at the library, tennis center and Spanish River Park; and elimination of 35 full-time positions — 18 of which are already vacant. Layoffs would include an expected 17 full-time employees and 14 part-time employees.
Quote: “These are trying times. This was a very challenging budget. The level of cuts was very difficult.” — City Manager Leif Ahnell
Public hearings: 6 p.m., Sept. 13 and Sept. 27
*Tax rate may be lowered, but not raised at the September hearings.
NOTE: Percentage of property value decrease as per Palm Beach County Preliminary Tax Roll Comparison dated July 1, 2010.