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Meeting set to discuss amphitheater

BY CAROLINE EGGERS - ceggers@perutribune.com

The Peru Board of Public Works and Safety will hold a special meeting on Thursday at 5:45 p.m. in the Peru City Council Chambers to discuss a fee schedule for the Peru Amphitheater.

BOW wants to establish a baseline of how the amphitheater is run, and is welcoming feedback from the public during their meeting, according to BOW member Steve Anderson.

The goal is to make the fee rules fair for everyone, while avoiding using city dollars for the regular maintenance, utilities, cleaning and wear and tear bills, Anderson said.

“We want to see what’s best for everyone,” Anderson said. “We want this to be a benefit to the community.”

During the last BOW meeting, members tabled the topic because they realized there were too many unanswered questions that need public input.

The city may waive the fees to nonprofit groups that are benefiting the community. But vendors who travel to the amphitheater to make profits probably need to pay, Anderson said.

“We have to figure out what can we waive and what we can’t waive,” he said. “A lot of people want to use the facility.”

The amphitheater is a new addition to the city – and is actually still unfinished.

“It’s basically a pavilion in a middle of a field,” Anderson said. “A lot of bugs need to be worked out.”

At one of the first events, a benefit for Mark Olsen, Anderson said the lighting was bad and the toilets were clogged.

But during the past Fourth of July celebration, Anderson said the amphitheater served as a nice centerpiece for a fireworks display – and hopes that becomes a regular tradition.

The more the city uses the amphitheater, the more things they discover need work. For now, they know parking, bathrooms and better lighting require improvement – but the sound is amazing, and the location is nice.

“It’s definitely a work in progress,” Anderson said.