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Local News

Rialto marquee committee still working on first meeting

JOLIET – A committee formed to help the Rialto Square Theatre solve its marquee problem will likely hold its first meeting soon, a spokeswoman said.

The committee was announced on Jan. 28.

Spokeswoman Kelly Rohder said the first meeting was awaiting formal approval of two members by the Joliet City Council. That happened on Tuesday, when the council approved Jan Quillman and Michael Turk.

Rohder said Thursday she spoke with the two committee co-chairs, and they hope to release a meeting schedule soon. She noted that other committee members still need to be contacted before plans are finalized, but the "very preliminary" plan is to have three meetings that conclude by April 1.

"We need to confirm a location and schedule meetings," Rohder said.

The committee was formed after the Rialto effectively lost two $350,000 donations to pay for a new marquee.

The first offer was made by retired businessman Ed Czerkies, who pulled his donation amid a controversy over whether his parents' names should go on a new marquee.

Then Joliet businessman Jay Bergman offered $350,000 if the Rialto board would take a check on Jan. 28 and move forward with a marquee plan. But Rialto leaders decided against taking up Bergman's offer because of the ongoing controversy over the marquee.

Rohder said the committee would likely gather information and present a report to the Will County Metropolitan Exposition and Auditorium Authority, which oversees the Rialto. The authority would then decide what to do next.

On Jan. 28, Rialto General Manager Randy Green said the marquee was 75 percent completed and $197,000 worth of work was done. Green did not return calls Thursday for an update on the situation.

He previously has said the Rialto has paid the sign company $120,000.

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