NEWTOWN — During the Edmond Town Hall Board of Managers meeting on Tuesday, July 13, Chair Jennifer Guman commended Sheila Torres, operations manager, and staff for their work during a recent production and the numerous dance recitals that have been taking place at the hall.
Ms. Torres replied, “We’re happy to have the business.”
The dance schools had turned to the hall when other venues were unavailable and Ms. Torres said they would receive a thank you and offer of discounts to incentivize them to return to the hall in the future.
Ms. Guman also thanked outgoing board member Anna Wiedemann, “Thank you for everything you’ve done for the community.”
In her report to the board, Ms. Torres mentioned the transition to new financial software, which will require some double work as the hall transfers from QuickBooks to eFinance.
There is an effort to identify paperwork that can be removed from the process and Ms. Torres will provide updates to the board.
She advised against removing the old system at this time in order to maintain data integrity and the fact that eFinance does not track customer data.
eFinance is the software used by the town and education board; one system would improve efficiency.
She also reported on animals found near the roof, which may be bats or chimney swifts, both protected species that might leave with a second frost.
Then the building could be secured against future invasions; the animals are not gaining access to the building.
Recent bathroom renovations made the hall ADA-compliant, although some features, including tile, were preserved to keep the project within budget.
Movies have returned to Edmond Town Hall, with good attendance and concession sales.
In other business, the board discussed video and audio support, reviewing tours of the building conducted by vendors prior to creating quotes.
Ms. Guman said the board would review at least three quotes before voting to move forward.
During the meeting, the chair provided background on the creation of a new non-profit organization to support Edmond Town Hall, an effort that began two years ago.
She met with a former board member with the Ridgefield Playhouse and a relative who does sound work there.
There are people willing to volunteer with tasks such as writing bylaws, and an advisory team ready to sit on a non-profit board.
The chair pointed out that events at the hall can boost business in town and that the non-profit organization would take on financial risks on behalf of Edmond Town Hall.
She expressed confidence in the upcoming concert series, although she said it would be a challenge to continue show production with current resources.
A possible name for the new non-profit organization would be Newtown Stage for the Performing Arts.
The Board of Managers was in favor of the idea and decided to invite the volunteers to a meeting in order to discuss details.
Before adjourning, the board discussed a potential new tenant and the rental application.
Ms. Torres reported that there has been little interest in the one remaining, leasable space in the building; if that is filled, the building would be rented at capacity.
Board member Herb Rosenthal recommended an executive session to discuss the matter and the board agreed, adding staff review and potential pay increase as a topic for discussion.
Coming out of executive session, the board unanimously increased salaries by 2.5 percent for the building staff and an additional raise to Lauren DiMartino to bring her hourly rate from $22 to $24.
They also approved an additional raise for Ms. Torres of another 2.5 percent to bring her to $63,525.
Then, the board offered a one-year lease to the new tenant.