By Wade Linville
The historic Gaslight Theatre in Georgetown is expected to undergo renovations soon thanks to a grant from the State of Ohio.
The Gaslight Theatre, which houses the Village of Georgetown offices including the police department as well as a theatre for live entertainment, has been in desperate need of a restoration for quite some time, according to village officials.
The grant totals $300,000, and the village will be responsible for contributing $150,000 (50-percent) of the funds to be matched by the state.
It was Ann Cahall, of Taft Law Firm in Cincinnati, who took care of the grant application process for the village and the grant money could be released as early as June.
“She was able to get us a grant from the Capital Budget of the State of Ohio to refurb this entire building,” said Dale Cahall.
This marks the first of what could possibly be multiple grants to renovate the Gaslight.
“This also leads us to next year’s grant and the following year grant, so we have the potential of making this building much more sound,” said Dale Cahall. “It’s literally in some bad shape. The mortar is bad in just about all of the bricks. The upstairs of the Gaslight Theatre needs a refurb. There are just a lot of things that need to be done. We knew that this was one day going to happen. We didn’t know that we were going to be able to get a grant.”
“We are hoping to see some progress start sometime later this summer,” he added.
In other business during the Village of Georgetown’s April 28 regular meeting, Village Administrator Art Owens notified council members of the significant progress that has been made on digitizing cemetery records and village ordinances to make such public records more easily accessible.
“At the last meeting we discussed the possibility of digitizing the cemetery records. The day after the meeting on Friday we started looking around and we noticed on the county software that the state provides for us to use, there is actually some software on there for databases for the cemetery,” explained Art Owens. “We’re going to start digitizing all of those records.”
Owens said the cemetery records will still be kept on book, mainly for historic purposes.
As for digitizing the village ordinances to be searchable via internet, the village has received bids for the project.
“We’re probably going to go with American Legal Publishing,” said Owens.
According to Owens, the search for village ordinances will be web-based where the public will have easy access to scanned .pdf files.
“I love it. It’s going to be great,” Owens said of the village ordinance search after researching other village web searches.
Council member Susan Bean questioned Owens regarding the cost involved with the village ordinance project, and according to Owens the cost will be around $500 per year once it is complete.
“It will be well worth the money,” said Owens.
In other business:
• Ned Lodwick, local historian and member of the U.S. Grant Homestead Association, was recognized for his restoration of the historical marker signs recognizing the village as the boyhood home of Ulysses S. Grant.
• Village officials discussed the groundbreaking for the new HealthSource facility that will be located at 615 E. State Street in Georgetown.
• Bean read a proclamation from Mayor Dale Cahall that dubbed April 29 as Arbor Day in Georgetown. The proclamation was also to be read at the tree planting at the Ohio Veterans Home in Georgetown on April 29.