I-Team 10 Follow-Up: Mayor addresses theatre request

Posted at: 03/28/2014 6:28 PM
By: Brett Davidsen

News10NBC has a follow up on a bold request by Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren which is stirring up a lot of reaction. The mayor wrote a letter to the governor asking for $100 million to fund a downtown performing arts center.

The mayor says closed mouths don't get fed and if you want to get the state to pay for big ticket items like a performing arts center, you have to start by asking.  

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said, “The goal was to put it on the table to get people to start talking about it."

If that was the goal, the mayor succeeded. Her request to the governor for state money to build a downtown performing arts center certainly has people talking.

On Thursday night, News10NBC showed you the letter she wrote to Governor Cuomo, asking for $100 million dollars for the project. On Friday, Mayor Warren said she favors the Midtown location as a possible site, but did not put a timeline on when she hoped to get such a project off the ground. She did reference other cities like Buffalo and Syracuse, which were both recently awarded major funding for capital projects and said she was disappointed that Rochester had been overlooked.

Warren said, “You look at what other communities around this state are receiving and you have to say Rochester has to be put on the table. If we never truly tell the state what we're looking for and ask them, then we can never receive and therefore, new can't complain."

With the state budget just days away from the deadline, a huge pot of money for a performing arts center isn't likely to be included.

Senator Ted O’Brien said, “I think the importance of her advocating that way is to begin to set a climate where maybe those kinds of funding requests can be considered down the road.

Warren says she did have a face to face discussion recently with the governor about her request.

Warren said, “He did not make a commitment. He wanted me to talk to our Regional Economic Development Council and build the support."

The mayor says she will begin talking up her proposal when she meets with the Regional Economic Development Council next week.