A heated debate over the proposal to transfer the city-owned Palace Theatre in Albany, N.Y., to the venue’s board led to the Albany Common Council voting to approve the plans March 6.  

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Palace Theatre - Albany, N.Y.

Council members voted 12-3 to approve the proposal, with councilmen Frank Commisso Jr., Judd Krasher and Mark Robinson casting the no votes.

Those opposed to the measure argued that they're trying to ensure a fair deal for the city's taxpayers, according to the Times Union. “This is not working for taxpayers right now,” Commisso Jr. said, adding that no one has been pushing the nonprofit to make a better offer. “I think they are the right people to be in that building going forward, [but this] is not at all a winning deal for taxpayers.”

Palace Performing Arts Center Inc. board members proposed $750,000 over the next 30 years as payment for transferring the 2,807-capacity theater to the nonprofit, which would provide $25,000 a year to the city.

The nonprofit wants ownership of the venue in order to secure funding and grants for a planned $65 million expansion and renovation project.

Theater officials say after taking into account $4.2 million in repairs and maintenance necessary to the structure, the $750,000 figure strikes a balance between the two appraisals conducted: $650,000 and $1.1 million.

The agreement the council approved asks that theater officials put together a community benefits plan that would ensure job placement, continue social programs for neighborhood residents, guarantee the theater continue its mission as an arts, education and cultural venue and allow for periodic review of the payment schedule, the Times Union said.