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New NTelos Contract Proposal Presented

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Portsmouth, VA City Council heard a new contract from the city to subsidize the NTelos Pavilion at Harbor Center with nearly $1 million per year.

City officials also considered turning over operation of a nearby smaller venue, Willett Hall, to the amphitheater operators to let them run weekly concerts and annual events.

In exchange, a new managing partner will take over the company that runs the amphitheater and drop the threats of a lawsuit.

Current president, A. William Reid, has been bogged down by troubles since last fall, when city officials said that they had no oversight of the $13 million facility. A review by the city proved that the original contract had been breached by the operators, Harbor Center Joint Venture. Along with other errors, the city had not received financial or attendance figures from the venue in years.

If the new proposal is passed, Reid will be removed from day-to-day financial management of the venue. He may remain as a partner in the new company, and would stay on to book and promote concerts.

On Tuesday, the city’s facilities consultant, Bill Luther, recommended the new five-year contract with the new entity.

“The old contract had not been successful or equitable to both parties,” Luther commented, according to the Virginian-Pilot. “It’s a new beginning.”

The final version of the contract will be presented to the City Council for approval sometime within the next month. The Council is willing to move forward with the proposal, but will thoroughly address many small issues still reeling from the old contract. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers