Spring and summer-time shows at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts should soon be much more comfortable, as the Longview City Council approves an amendment to the interlocal agreement with the Public Facilities District. The amendment extends the lease of the theatre to the PFD by 15 years, allowing the PFD to use a million dollars in sales tax proceeds from Olympia to pay for completion of the air conditions system at the Columbia Theatre. Project Manager Nelson Graham says that this is big money, and will have a big impact. Proceeds for the Public Facilities District come from a one-tenth of one-percent sales tax rebate to Cowlitz County, and is NOT an increase in local sales taxes. Graham says that they expect to receive about $400,000 each year from Olympia. It’s emphasized that these are current sales tax proceeds that are being returned to Cowlitz County, and that would be spent in Olympia otherwise. It’s hoped that installation of the remaining air conditioning equipment can be done by this spring.
In other business at last night’s meeting, new City Council member Mary Alice Wallis was sworn in, along with returning incumbents Steve Moon and Chet Makinster. Don Jensen was elected to be Longview’s Mayor for another two-year term, and Mike Wallin was selected as Mayor Pro Tem. “Rockin’ Rhonda” Goldsmith was honored as this quarter’s Community Advocate by Longview Parks and Recreation; she’s been teaching dance classes for Parks and Recreation for more than 13 years, teaching classes to more than 4,500 people. The zoning code changes regarding residential development were passed, with a goal of trying to stimulate the development more multi-family housing in the city. Action was also taken to declare an emergency regarding the slide on 38th Avenue near Memorial Park Drive, authorizing city expenses connected to that incident.