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Council approves agreement to purchase Bonnie Kate with foundation funding; photos needed to guide restoration

ELIZABETHTON (May 13, 2016) - John Huber, the man who has spearheaded fundraising efforts to save the Bonnie Kate Theater, said the Elizabethton City Council decision Thursday night signifies the end of phase I — acquisition of the theater — and the beginning of phase II — restoration to its original stature.

Councilmen unanimously approved an agreement to work with the East Tennessee Foundation (ETF), which has raised more than $100,000 for the purchase of the theater in the name of the City of Elizabethton. Members of the Elizabethton/Carter County Community Foundation (ECCF), a branch of ETF, will now apply for grants and petition private donors to fund its restoration.

“I think this is a step in the right direction in terms of revitalizing our downtown and continuing to make Elizabethton a great destination for families, tourists and the people who value the history of this theater,” said Kris Yarlett, ECCF chairman.

City Manager Jerome Kitchens specified that this agreement is not considered the purchase, but it does imply that the council will vote to approve a resolution in the near future for the purchase of the theater.

The agreement states the City of Elizabethton will purchase the Bonnie Kate at a maximum price of $111,700, entirely with ECCF funding. It also states the Council will approve funding for the parking lot in the amount of $25, 800. Kitchens said this would be a benefit to downtown shoppers and attendees to events.

Huber said funds for the building purchase were contributed by a number of private donors including Carter County Bank, Security Federal Bank, Elizabethton Federal Savings Bank, and several anonymous donors.

“We’re now going to solicit grants, but we need the community’s support,” Huber said, adding ARC, historic grants and state funds could be available.

Read the full article at http://www.elizabethton.com/2016/05/13/council-approves-agreement-to-purchase-bonnie-kate-with-foundation-funding-photos-needed-to-guide-restoration/