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Keno revenue to help fund theatre, pool equipment PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 19 May 2011 17:01

BWTelcom commits $45,000 for conversion to digital projection system needed to keep Chateau Theatre viable

By Tina Kitt

The Wauneta Breeze


Wauneta’s Chateau Theatre took another major step toward securing the needed funds to replace its outdated projection equipment with a new digital, 3-D system, thanks to the Wauneta Village Board.

Last week the board voted to allocate $17,000 in keno funds toward the equipment replacement project.

Wauneta Chamber of Commerce representative Joey Large was present at last week’s Village Board meeting to make the request. He explained to the board that BWTelcom and the Raile family have committed $45,000 to have the new system implemented and the Chamber is now working to procure the rest of the money needed in order to move forward with the conversion project as soon as possible.

An initial estimate received by the Chamber last week puts the cost of the project at nearly $83,000.

The conversion to a digital will be needed within the next 18 months. By the end of 2012 movies will no longer be available for distribution to theaters in the reel-projection format.

A new “turbo twist” is on track to be installed this summer at the Wauneta swimming pool. The Wauneta Village Board approved the purchase of the new slide to replace the old slide which could no longer be repaired. Keno funds will be used to cover the $3,215 cost. (Courtesy Photo)


Instead, they will be shipped in an automated form to be uploaded onto a digital projection system. Several area movie theaters have already made the conversion to digital, including Imperial.

The systems proposed for Wauneta as well as Benkelman, which the Raile family has also committed to help fund, will offer state-of-the-art 3D capability.

Over the past two years local businesses and individuals have shown a strong commitment to the Chateau Theatre through their participation of the “Sponsor-A-Movie Campaign.” Those donations help cover the booking and shipping costs for each week’s movie, with ticket and concession sales used to cover other operational expenses like utilities, insurance and repairs, etc., with little left over for capital expenditures or major upgrades.

Now that keno funds have been secured, the Chamber is working to submit a grant request to the Wauneta Community Foundation for the balance of the funds needed to cover the cost of installing the new system.

“We’re on a mission to wrap up funding as soon as possible,” said Large.

Village Board members said they felt keno funds would be well utilized in allocating them toward the theatre’s digital conversion project.

“That theatre is important to this little town,” said Village Board Chair Lloyd Sinner. “We need to keep it.”

Village Superintendent Bill Bischoff and Village Board members also voiced their appreciation for BWTelcom’s financial contributions which will make the system upgrade possible.

“BWTelcom and the Raile family have been a true blessing to Wauneta,” noted Bischoff.

Once the new system is in place, the Chateau and Benkelman’s Zorn Theater will be among the few 3D theaters in southwest Nebraska. Plastic 3D glasses will be provided to the theaters to be used during 3D movies, after which each pair of glasses that has been used for viewing will be sent in for sanitizing and then returned to be used again.


Keno will also fund new water slide

During last week’s meeting the Village Board also voted to use keno funds to purchase a new water slide for the swimming pool. The old one was taken out of use last year after it could no longer be repaired.

The board voted to allocate $3,215 in keno funds to purchase a ‘turbo twist” slide.

The new slide will be similar to the old slide but will have a “turbo twist” curve along with an enclosed safety ladder.

The slide has been ordered with plans to have it installed as early in the swimming season as possible.

Keno funds were also recently used to cover the $762 cost of having an old house located north of the school demolished, leaving the property available for use by the school district.

Even after the allocation of $17,000 for the theatre, $3,215 for the water slide and $762 for the building demolition nearly $30,000 remains available in the keno fund.

Money accumulated in this fund is set aside to be used for community betterment/improvement projects.


Electric Department service deposits, fees OKed

The board voted to approve an ordinance formalizing a schedule of service deposits and disconnect fees utilized by the Village Office.

When setting up an account for electrical service in Wauneta residential customers who own the premises will be required to put down a deposit of $100.

Residential customers who are tenants will be required to put down a deposit of $150. If they are able to provide acceptable letters of reference from two previous service providers, however, $50 of that service deposit may be waived.

Commercial users will be required to put down a deposit of $150.

Service fees of $10 and $20 will be charged for disconnecting service and for any disconnect notices sent.


Further business

In other business the board:

• Authorized advertising seeking a community member interested in serving on the planning commission. As of last week no one had stepped forward seeking that appointment.

• Discussed the possibility of having the Village of Wauneta purchase a house in town in order to rent it to Village of Wauneta or Sheriff’s Department employees. The Village’s contract with the Chase County Sheriff’s Office stipulates that a department member must live in Wauneta, a provision that proves problematic at times when no rental property is available. No action was taken.