Village Council Sets Meetings on Arts Center, Businesses
The Pinehurst Village Council will hit the ground running in the new year with two meetings this week that could be key for future development of the arts and business in the village.
The council will hold a special called meeting at 8:30 a.m. today with the advisory board of the Pinehurst Performing Arts Center (PPAC) to discuss possible funding of a feasibility study for a performing arts facility in Pinehurst.
On Friday morning, council members will meet with Partners in Progress to discuss mutual issues that could impact business in Pinehurst as well as Moore County and its other municipalities. That is set for 8:45 a.m.
Both meetings will be held in the conference room of Village Hall. The council is expected to take no action at either meeting.
Pinehurst Mayor Nancy Fiorillo described both meetings as “important steps” for the village.
The PPAC board is seeking $33,500 ($28,500 for the study and an additional $5,000 for expenses) for a feasibility study to be conducted by Webb Management Services, according to Village Manager Andy Wilkison.
The New York-based firm has done similar work in Durham, Raleigh, Fayette-ville, Cary, Wilmington, Charlotte and Blowing Rock.
According to its website (www.webbmgmt.org), Webb Management Services is one of the nation’s leading providers of cultural and project planning and research services, with more than 200 completed projects. The firm’s clients include municipalities, colleges and universities, nonprofit arts organizations, commercial developers and economic development agencies.
Last summer, David Michael Wolff, the founder of the Carolina Philharmonic, proposed the development of a 2,200-seat performing arts center that would be home to the organization as well as a center for the arts. The center is still in the early planning stages.
The proposed study has two phases. A business plan study will be conducted if the project is deemed feasible.
The PPAC board is asking that Village Council fund that first phase of the study, according to Wilkison.
“The council requested this meeting,” Wilkison said. “I think they thought it prudent to talk more with the advisory committee prior to next week’s meeting.”
The second phase of the plan, Wilkison said, would be funded by the PPAC Board.
The council is expected to consider the project during its work session set for 6 p.m. Jan. 10 in the conference room of Village Hall.
Today’ meeting is viewed as an information gathering session for the council.
“This is a good opportunity to get any questions out in the open and get them answered,” Fiorillo said.
Council member John Strickland said he is anxious to hear from the PPAC board to determine if the idea has “traction” and how the council could help “nurture” the idea if “the resources and the audience are there.”
“This is our chance to hear from them what they want to do and learn about who is working with them,” he said.
Mayor Pro-tem Doug Lapins said he also is looking for more information about the project and Webb Management Services. He has also raised the concern that if the council pays for any part of the study, it should be involved in the process.
“I’ve made the point with some other members of council that if we are paying for this then we should have somebody on the steering committee,” Lapins said.
Friday’s meeting with Partners is slated to be more of a listening session, Wilkison said. Topics will include issues that are a concern to not only the village but also to the greater Moore County community.
Lapins, who is on the Partners in Progress board, said he expected the meeting to be more of an “informational outreach” that would allow Pat Corso, the new executive director of Partners, to help present information and get all the communities in Moore County together.
Corso said the Partners board plans to go into the community every other month to discuss issues with elected officials in Moore County. He described them as outreach exercises that will enable the Partners board to “listen and learn.”
“We really want to hear what they think,” Corso said.
Contact Tom Embrey at email@example.com.
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