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A public hearing took place at last nights Jasper Common Council Meeting at the City Council Chambers.

This public hearing served as one of two that are required to take place for the grant seeking efforts placed towards the preservation of the Astra Theater.

Anyone from the public was encouraged to place comments on a letter of intent from the Next Act Inc. organization that was published in the local newspaper, a notice was faxed to the media, and also posted at City Hall.

The Next Act had Marc Steczyk, Leslie Hamby, and other board members present at the public hearing with Lisa Gehlhausen, Executive Director of Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission to represent them.

Gehlhausen elaborates on the actions being taken by The Next Act organization in their ongoing imitative to preserve the Astra Theatre.

Gehlhausen adds that the local funds she mentioned will be coming from the Next Act bank account and other necessary resource. She also mentions that the total phase 1 cost would include masonry, wall improvements, electric, plumbing, store front, signage, roof improvements, and other areas. For Phase 2 it would include more of the interior area, such as redoing the lobby concession, and making the stage larger, and more.

Gehlhausen is responsible for the overall management, as well as the development and/or administration of a variety of activities including community facilities, downtown renovations, water and wastewater infrastructure projects. She serves the Dubois county as well as Crawford,Orange,Perry,Pike, and Spencer counties.

The grant application requires another public hearing that should take place prior to the June 10th application. She mentions that the Next Act has gone through acquisition of the property, doing fundraising, and also paid for the rehabilitation plan that brought forth the improvements needing to be carried out.

Wayne Schuetter shared that the Astra Theatre has a connection to his family as his father, Alfred
“Snopsie” Schuetter worked at both the Astra Theate and Tivoli Theatre by operating movie projectors for over 60 years. Wayne Schuetter expressed that the Astra Theatre contributes to the history for the City of Jasper.



In other business the Jasper Council reviewed the compliance for personnel property tax abatement for Kimball Hospitality Inc and for Kimball Furniture Group LLC. Both took the floor at the podium in separate groups. Also, the Indiana Furniture Industries Inc. representatives spoke on the ongoing actions being taken to be compliant and had questions from the Council. After consideration all 3 cases were approved as compliant.



Lastly, the council discussed a item of discussion tabled at the 2/17 council meeting regarding a advisory finance committee being requested by some of the council members. A decision was made to consider scheduling pre-budget meeting discussions that would not be an exact committee but would still allow those council member available to be informed and have room to ask questions regarding the city finances and speak to department head leaders.

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