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Local News

Joliet seeks more Rialto updates in 2018

The Rialto
The Rialto

JOLIET – Joliet has added two items and slightly revised another to an intergovernmental agreement that sets guidelines for the city’s $500,000 annual contribution to the Rialto Square Theatre.

Joliet and the theater entered an intergovernmental agreement for the first time a year ago under dramatic conditions that led to the resignation of the entire Rialto board at a time when city funding was in doubt.

There’s much less drama this time.

The council approved the agreement Tuesday with no discussion.

Rialto board Chairman Robert Filotto said Wednesday he sees no problem with the agreement, which that board will consider at its meeting Jan. 24.

“I think it’s very reasonable,” Filotto said.

The new agreement:

• Requires quarterly updates from the Rialto on its quest for additional outside funding sources beyond the city’s $500,000;

• Requires a draft capital plan for property maintenance and preservation at the Rialto by July 1;

• Excludes performances targeted to school children on field trips from the list of 30 shows the Rialto must book by June 30 to get the second installment of the city’s $500,000 contribution.

Including the children’s shows on the list of booked performances became a short-lived issue with the City Council last year, which eventually agreed that the Rialto was booking enough performances to get the second installment.

The 30-show quota was set at a time when bookings had fallen off from previous years, and Joliet officials expressed concern about whether the Rialto was bringing enough people downtown to justify city funding.

The requests for quarterly updates and a capital plan actually follow up on Rialto initiatives.

The Rialto board last year began an outreach effort to find additional funding sources in large part to finance building and maintenance needs at the theater.

“It’s something that we started already,” Filotto said. “And, I don’t think it ever hurts to meet with the city manager on a quarterly basis.”

The agreement requires that both the quarterly report and capital plan be provided to the city manager.

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