By Tia Lyons
The El Dorado City Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. today in the Council Chamber of City Hall.
Council Member Paul Choate is expected to a present a proposal regarding the El Dorado Municipal Auditorium, including the rules and regulations for its use, a clarification of the rental contract and the effort to hire a full-time manager to oversee the facility.
The proposal also covers other city facilities that are available for rent, including the trolley bus and mobile stages.
Choate is a member of a committee that was formed several months ago to address the issues.
City officials cited the need for a facilities manager for the auditorium in response to an issue in which a Steinway piano was destroyed due to water damage from a leaky roof at the auditorium.
Pierce Moore, administrative assistant in Mayor Veronica Creer’s office, said the piano — a 1961-model that had been donated to the city decades earlier — had not been properly stored in a climate-controlled environment or with a padded covering.
After extensive discussions, the city council agreed in June to replace the piano by purchasing a used, 2012 Steinway model with a $90,000 insurance settlement.
Council members also agreed to dip into the city’s reserve coffers to a cover a $10,000 insurance deductible and for $6,000 to upgrade a space in which to store the piano at the auditorium.
Shortly afterwards, a committee was formed to consider hiring a facilities manager for the auditorium, trolley bus and stage and to take a look at related issues, including consistency in how the city rents out its facilities and to review and amend existing policies regarding those facilities.
Council Member Dianne Hammond is also on the agenda to discuss appointments to city commissions, committees and boards.
The council is also expected to hear from officials at the El Dorado Water Utilities and consider bids for the sale city-owned properties in the Memphis Heights neighborhood and at 1514 Junction City Road.
Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or [email protected]