Rochester Art Center Facing Serious Financial Problems
Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) -The Rochester Art Center is in a financial mess.
Minnesota Public Radio is reporting a recent audit of the center’s finances indicated some serious problems. The audit was based on its 2014-2015 operations.
City leaders just became aware of the audit as a result of the MPR story. City Council President Randy Staver was contacted by MPR for comment on the story and he has notified others.
Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede talked about the situation on KROC-AM with Rich Peterson this morning. He said he’s “not surprised” at the news. In the video at the top of this post, the Mayor says it's a frustrating situation in light of a new comprehensive plan for the local arts community that will likely lead to requests for additional public funding.
City Administrator Steve Kvenvold met Tuesday with Art Center leadership, who briefed him on the situation. Kvenvold says he was told the center is planning to restructure its operations and, at this point, is not seeking extra money from the city.
The city has given the Art Center more than a million dollars since 2011.
Kvenvold says the city owns the Art Center building and appropriates annual funds for its upkeep and maintenance. The amount in 2016 was $305,591.This year’s amount was $330,688.
The center has taken a hit the past two years in part due to the major construction work at the Mayo Civic Center and the City Council approved extra funds to cover the losses. The totals were $45,000 in 2015 and $117,000 last year.
The Art Center has also had to deal with the recent departure of its executive director.