To the editor:
Hancock County originally planned to remove funding from the H.J. Ricks Centre for the Arts. This budget planning put Dave Scott, theater manager, in an uncomfortable position.
Scott had mentioned in a previous article, “Curtains Closing?” written by Rorye Hatcher (Sept. 23, A1), that the center would not be able to function properly without the tax money coming in. Scott feared the loss of money could result in raised rental prices for the theater resulting in less business, thus ultimately ending in the closure of the theater.
The H.J. Ricks Centre is not only a downtown Greenfield performing arts center but a Hancock County landmark. The H. J. Ricks Centre hosts many events including those during the Riley Festival, as well as the George and Icy Vaughn scholarship contest.
The theater has an enjoyable atmosphere for these annual events and various community theater performances.
The Ricks also is a place where local talent can perform. For the Ricks to close, these events would no longer be centered in the middle of Hancock County. The H.J. Ricks Centre, I believe, is a historical part of Hancock County, and the funding is important. Therefore, the innkeepers tax should continue to support the theater allowing full functionality of H.J. Ricks Centre for the Arts.
Editor’s note: The Hancock County Tourism Commission recently approved usage of the innkeepers tax to support the H.J.Ricks Centre for the Arts for 2018.