Sale of opera house chairs to fund city sprinkler project

VERGENNES — Vergennes aldermen on May 25 gave permission to Vergennes Opera House backers to sell the theater’s no-longer-used fixed chairs as a way to help pay for the sprinkler project that will benefit the Main Street building that houses both the theater and city offices.
The cost of that project to protect the building recently ballooned from about $60,000 to $80,000 when it was learned there was not enough water pressure in the original design to reach the top of the structure. City Manager Mel Hawley said an extra pump needed would add about $20,000 to the cost.
The chairs in question, which were abandoned in favor of the flexible seating now used in the theater, have been stored in a trailer at Kennedy Brothers. Whether the city or the theater owned the chairs was in question, but aldermen at their Tuesday meeting last week clarified the issue by giving their blessing to the sale of the seats, Hawley said, as long as the proceeds went toward the sprinkler project.
The only other condition imposed by aldermen was that the seats taken from the theater’s balcony should be kept and eventually returned there, Hawley said.

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