City residents to vote on Opera House lease change

VERGENNES — When Vergennes residents go to the polls on Tuesday, they will not only weigh in on a new Vergennes Union High School budget proposal (see story), but also decide whether to approve an amendment to the Vergennes Opera House’s overall lease for the use of Vergennes City Hall.
A ballot item proposed by the Vergennes City Council and the Friends of the Vergennes Opera House would give the theater the use of the so-called “Ticket Booth” off the first-floor lobby that the city and the opera house already share.
Theater officials plan to use the roughly 100-square-foot room as a ticket booth once again and for what they said is much needed office space.
The room served as ticket booth for the theater in the past, but more recently was part of the Vergennes Police Department’s City Hall headquarters. It became available when the police force moved to its new headquarters further north on Main Street, near Kayhart Crossing.
According to the Vergennes City Charter, city residents must approve real estate sales, thus aldermen placed the lease amendment on the ballot, taking advantage of the May 5 VUHS revote rather than calling for a special election.
City Manager Mel Hawley said a “Yes” vote will approve the amendment and add the room to a lease that already allows the theater to use City Hall’s entire second story and stairs and allows it to share the lobby and first-floor rest rooms.
Hawley said the theater would have full use of the room, except that city officials would retain access to a small vault in which some vital records are stored.

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