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Council may put in extra time to finish Mars work

POSTED: January 20, 2014 7:16 p.m.

With the grand opening of the Mars Theatre just three months away, much of the work remaining to be done may lie in the hands of the Springfield City Council.


Council members could have at least one called meeting soon in order to approve purchases for the Mars. Now that the city council meets just once a month, their next scheduled meeting won’t happen until Feb. 11.


“It did not proceed as quickly as we thought it would,” City Manager Brett Bennett said of the theatre’s equipment acquisitions. “We need a called meeting so we can stay on track.”


Bennett estimated a meeting may be needed for next week or for the first of Feburary, “at the absolute latest,” he said.


The city is getting its final approvals on the building’s electrical plans. Once the wiring is done, the sound, lighting and cinema equipment, once all have been obtained, can be installed.


“We want a good three weeks to a month to work out the kinks before we open the doors,” Bennett said.


City cultural affairs director Tommy Deadwyler, who will oversee the Mars, has said he wants first-class equipment for the building. He also has expressed the need for dry runs before unveiling the Mars to the public April 25.


“If it takes working 24 hours a day, that’s what we’ll do,” he said.


Council members approved a schedule of fees the city charges. There were no changes to the fees, Bennett said, but it is better to update and approve the fees, rather than continually adopting new ordinances.


“This is a common practice of local governments,” he said.


The new schedule of fees didn’t alter the false alarm fee, Bennett explained, which was set in its enacting ordinance. There are other ordinances that also set fees but refer to those levies in a fee schedule.

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