As Oregon lawmakers decide how to divy up $240 million in federal pandemic relief, one cultural institution on the coast is hoping that potential state funding doesn’t disappear twice in two years.
The center is housed in a building that for many years served as an elementary school. The inside has been thoroughly renovated and updated.
"But on the outside, the area still looks like a school" said executive director Niki Price. "What we're trying to do is bring the arts and culture programming and the venue capabilities to the exterior."
The project was set to receive $1.5 million in state lottery bond funding last year when falling lottery revenues caused the state to pull the plug.
“That’s a pretty large hole in your pocket when you lose that kind of change," said Price. "We were devastated.”
But this year, the non-profit could receive $1.8 million in federal pandemic relief funds because it was included on a list developed by lawmakers to support projects in each legislative district. In the case of the Lincoln City Cultural Center, the request was submitted by Sen. Dick Anderson, R-Lincoln City, and Rep. David Gomberg, D-Otis.
“If this goes through, it’s going to make our project possible,” said Price. "If it doesn't go through, we have to phrase the project and do it more expensively and in pieces over the next few years."
Price will find out soon, as the legislature is scheduled to wrap up its session this week.