Rochester, MN  (KROC AM News) - The Rochester City Council has indicated its support for a major renovation of the Chateau Theater but a formal decision won’t be made until next year.

The council received a committee recommendation Monday and was briefed on estimated construction costs, which are over $21-million. And while some councilmembers expressed concerns about the high cost, there were more questions about the financial viability of the proposed arts and entertainment facility.

The council was given a projection of income and expenses over the first five years of operations. The projection showed the total from annual contributions, grants and government funds would amount to a fourth of total income. Councilmember Mark Hickey questioned if that would be possible, noting the fundraising challenges facing other local non-profit organizations. Councilmember Nick Campion added future city councils may decide not to support the operation.

The committee recommends the city retain ownership of the building but the council directed staff to look into possible partnerships to offset costs, including the DMC organization.

Staff will also look into possible partnerships with developers who have plans for property near the Chateau, including the former Michaels restaurant site.

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