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Odeum Board Tells Fire Commissioners The Money Is In The Bank

A Champlin Foundations grant of $141,600 has been received.

Following an appearance to announce a grant from the Champlin Foundations, members of the Odeum board of directors made a similar appearance before the Fire Commissioners Thursday night.

After the theater had been dark for some time because of an inability to meet stringent new fire codes, both the Town Council and Fire Commission said the building would be put back on the tax rolls because it was not operating as a nonprofit.

However both groups delayed action when Odeum President Frank Prosnitz asked for time to raise money to make the upgrades and reopen.

On Thursday, Prosnitz told commissioners the check had been received and deposited, then repeated what he had told the Town Council. The theater seats will be sent to a company in Michigan to be recovered in early January. During the eight-week time frame that's projected for completion and return of the seats, interior work will be done, readying the theater for a hoped-for March opening.

Commission members congratulated Prosnitz and the Odeum Board members on their success and said getting the building off the tax rolls would be put on the agenda for the next meeting.

During earlier discussions about the Odeum as the theater was rebuilding its board and setting up fundraising, there had been occasional terseness about communication and information. That flared briefly Thursday night when Commissioner Mark Schwager told Prosnitz the Fire Marshal did not have some needed information and he wanted it to be clear that if there were any delays going forward they were not the fault of the department.

Prosnitz and Odeum board member Doug Truesdell said cut sheets of seat fabric would be provided and the Fire Marshal should have on hand the other needed details.

Commissioners were satisfied when new Odeum Board member Jeffery Gladstone, an attorney with Partridge, Snow and Hahn, stepped to the microphone and said he would assume the role of point person to guarantee time lines and communication.

In other business, Commission members learned the department has received some significant money in rebates. The department is getting a $3,500 rebate on , and received a check for $49,000 in connection with . The money for the rescue unit comes through the state DEM in recognition of cleaner diesel technology.

The Commission also accepted several pages outlining a code of ethics to be added to the department’s standard operating guide. Commission Chairman Doug Axelsen said the code has been in development for some time and applies to everyone connected with the department, including commissioners.

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