Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

The costs behind JPAC’s numbers

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Greg Peck
Monday, April 8, 2013

Weekly costs of between $4,500 and $5,000 to operate the Janesville Performing Arts Center raised eyebrows and questions. Where does the money go? We’ll explain in our editorial Tuesday.

In a story last week, Catherine W. Idzerda revealed the weekly operating costs at the Janesville Performing Arts Center. I blogged about that Friday, and one commenter responded: “What on Earth costs $4,500 to $5,000 per week?”

So I contacted JPAC Executive Director Elizabeth Horvath and asked about the top expenses. She didn’t want to get into the details but offered to reveal the top budget drivers—payroll and utilities.

The 2013 budget shows $240,000 in operating expenses, which divided by 52 weeks equals more than $4,600 per week. Payroll is $93,000 and includes pay for Horvath; sales and marketing manager Dustin Klubertanz, who went full time this year for the first time; and two part-timers. Nobody is getting rich working there.

Heat and electricity cost $41,000. Building repairs are budgeted for $19,000. A cleaning service will cost $11,700. Add water utilities, phone bills, marketing and other expenses.

The concern comes because JPAC finished 2012 almost $40,000 in the black, and that riled some user groups, which pay $1,000 per week to rent the theater. That marked the first year since it opened in 2004 that JPAC actually finished in the black—and it did so despite an unexpected expense, replacing a failed boiler for $30,000.

What can and should be done to keep JPAC’s finances in reasonable shape while keeping costs affordable for its 11 diverse, local performing arts groups? We’ll share more details, insight and perspective in our editorial Tuesday.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook

Last updated: 9:20 am Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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