The Cody Auditorium is slated to receive the upgrades needed to once again be able to host events with alcohol as per fire code.
On Sept. 21, city council members voted to set aside $150,000 in federal COVID funds from the American Rescue Act to install a sprinkler system and a new sound system.
“That’s a level of comfort to (fire marshal) Sam Wilde, to add a sprinkler system,” city manager Barry Cook said.
He said Wilde had agreed to grant the city a waiver to once again allow events with alcohol at the Cody Auditorium once there’s a timeline established for the sprinkler project.
“We’ll probably be able to rent the facility pretty soon because of the exemption we’ll get from the fire marshal,” Mayor Matt Hall said.
Cook had said early in the year that funding to add the system was not available as it had been budgeted to come from the revenue the general purpose sales tax had generated if passed in 2020.
A number of organizations then found new venues that allowed alcohol for their events. A representative from the Soroptimist Club implored city council during the summer budget process to add a fire suppression system to allow the auditorium to be the complete venue it’s been for decades.
The facility, built in 1941, has other maintenance issues that are also being tackled by the city. Cook said there were no issues that rose to the level of structural integrity.
This summer the city received the first roughly $850,000 its expected to receive from the Biden administration’s round of COVID funding in the spring.
The city is also using $400,000 of the funding to hire and pay the annual salaries through 2026 for two new full-time positions, a parks maintenance worker and a police technology specialist.