LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Monday, July 21
Friends of the Opera House not being audited by city
To the Editor:
On July 16, the Observer posted an article that reads “City council OK’s audit of opera house funds.” This article may leave the impression that the city is conducting an audit of the Friends of the Opera House, the nonprofit theater arts organization that holds the lease on the opera house.
The Friends of the Opera House is not being audited. The City of Elgin is auditing its own accounts, including an account that holds the remainder of the grant funds awarded to the city for the specific purpose of restoration and upgrades to the historic building.
Earlier this year, the Friends of the Opera House suggested that the city use the remainder of their grant funds to provide a new AC unit for the building. The Elgin City Council graciously allocated the funds for the air conditioner.
Later, the city received an unexpected bill for opera house restoration work that had previously been provided. This unexpected bill raised caution with the city council and it voted to suspend the release of the funds for the AC until it took a closer look at several of its accounts, including the city’s opera house restoration fund. The Friends of the Opera House does not use city money to fund its programs and the city audit doesn’t impact the Friends of the Opera House activities.
When the City of Elgin finishes the audit of its accounts, The Friends of the Opera House will know whether the city will be able to continue funding the air conditioning project. If the funds are not available, the Friends of the Opera House will look at funding the project through other fundraising efforts.
Friends of the Opera House board of directors