Borough continuing improvements at event center

NAUGATUCK — The borough is planning to install air conditioning on the first floor of the Naugatuck Event Center.

“There is no functioning air conditioning on the first floor. It would not be possible to have shows with people or any large groups in the building during the summer months,” said Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess during the Board of Mayor and Burgess meeting this month.

Hess estimated the work will cost between $50,000 and $60,000. He expects to have quotes for the work by the board’s May meeting to bring to a vote. He said the work will be paid for through revenue the event center generates.

Recently the center, which is the former General DataComm building at 6 Rubber Ave., hosted the Cabin Fever Indoor Custom Car and Motorcycle Show, and the Kids Fun Fair & Zoo. Hess said the borough made about $60,000 from the two events.

“We feel that we can make the event center better, generate more revenue in the future. We are getting a lot of interest in shows of all types and sizes, very interesting propositions. Keeping in mind that, at some point, we will probably be selling the building, we will not invest a lot of money into the building. But by investing some money I believe we can generate more revenue,” Hess said.

Burgess Rocky Vitale supported the proposal.

“I think it is a great idea because it is an investment in that building and we stand to get back a whole lot more than we are investing in there,” Vitale said. “Clearly the revenue is going to be higher than expenses. Clearly.”

Vitale asked if the borough has a specific account in the budget for the revenues and expenses related to the center.

Hess said the borough will create a revenue line item based on the profits it estimates it will receive from events in the 2017-18 budget and increase the expenses of the building in the budget.

Burgess Patrick Scully approved of the plan, but said the borough needs to be cautious when planning its revenues from the events.

“We just have to be careful of how we project our revenues. We can’t be like [Gov. Dannel Malloy] and project all these income tax revenues and never get them,” Scully said.