Binghamton Forum will not receive expected federal dollars
Broome County was hoping for $750,000 in federal dollars to restore its historic Forum Theater in downtown Binghamton. But word arrived this week it would meet the fate meted out to many a project hoping for a boost from the federal government.
Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D) appeared at the Forum in October to announce the funding had won a key approval in Congress. But ultimately the earmark, as part of the House Appropriations Commitee's budget, was lost when the FY11 Omnibus Spending Bill failed to pass in December.
The funding would have paid to restore the façade and refurbish the interior of the forum. Brian Hoffman, who manages the theater says the loss will set the renovations back several years.
"That was a big part of the you know, the plan, but the timing unfortunately was just off. While it's a setback, we're still not deterred. We're committed to the Forum, and to what we want to do."
Broome County, which owns the Forum, has identified the theater as a key piece of its plans to revitalize the city center as an arts hub.
The building was completed in 1919 as a vaudeville theater, and is on the National Registry of Historic Landmarks. Mike Morosi, from Congressman Hinchey's office, says any future funding for the Forum will depend on what changes Republicans make to the earmark process.