By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Mayor Ed Engler has personally contributed $10,000 to the capital campaign to renovate and restore the Colonial Theatre and that the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion pledged another $80,000 toward the project, The Belknap Economic Development Corporation announced this week.
In June 2015, during his first term as mayor, Engler announced that the city, in partnership with the Belknap Economic Development Council, would purchase the property, which includes the auditorium, nine commercial units and 18 residential units, for $1.4 million and assemble a financial package approaching $15 million to renovate and restore it.
"Government at this level," Engler said that day, "can be defined as what we decide to do together, and with our friends at the Belknap Economic development Council, we're going to do this." He drew an enthusiastic round of applause when he urged a crowd gathered at Wayfarer Coffee Roasters "to think of the theater as they think of the football field, as a civic amenity, a civic asset that belongs to all of us."
Meanwhile, Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion has supported the project by purchasing $80,000 in tax credits offered by the New Hampshire Community Development Investment Program, which were awarded for the project earlier this year. RJ Harrding, president of the Bank of New Hampshire Paviliion, said "We are very proud to support the Colonial Theatre and look forward to it reopening in the future. The theater," he continued, "will serve as an anchor to our community and we encourage other organizations to consider making a donation to this worthwhile project,"
Speaking for the Belknap Economic Development Council, executive director Justin Slattery expressed appreciation for both contributions and said "since the start of the capital campaign, we have received an outpouring of support from businesses and residents in the Lakes Region.We are making good progress," he added, "and ask that any business or resident interested in learning more about the Colonial Theater capital campaign contact us at 603-524-3057 or 609MainStreet.org."
Laconia Mayor Ed Engler, left, gives a personal donation of $10,000 to Randy Eifert, chairmon of the Belknap Economic Development Council toward the Colonial Theatre renovation campaign. (Courtesy photo)
Making an $80,000 donation to Justin Slattery, Belknap EDC Executive Director, center, were Michael Seymour, Bank Of NH Pavilion COO; Bridget Harding, Bank Of NH Pavilion owner; Dom DeCarli, Bank Of NH Facilities Director; and Marci DeCarli, Bank Of NH Pavilion Marketing Director. (Courtesy photo)
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