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WESTMINSTER : City to Raise Funds for Arts, Radio System

To help finance a new community arts center and to pay its share of a countywide radio system for law enforcement, the city has decided to issue $5 million in certificates of participation, a type of bond.

Westminster must contribute $2 million toward the proposed countywide communications system, which would be used by police and fire agencies, city officials said.

The $82-million system, which would replace an antiquated one, has been stalled by the Orange County bankruptcy. But Westminster officials said they want to have the funding lined up when the project does move forward.

Under conditions of the certificate sale, the city does not have to use the money for the planned uses and could later reallocate the funds to other public improvement projects, said Brian Mayhew, the city’s finance director.

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The remaining money, about $2.5 million, would help finance the city’s proposed $6-million community center, which is to include a 450-seat theater.

Other funding for the center would come from redevelopment and other grants and some city reserves, officials said.

The building would replace the 50-year-old Cultural Arts Center on Hoover Street. According to preliminary plans, the 29,000-square-foot center would include space for art exhibits and a terrace for private and public events, and meeting and dining rooms for weddings, small conventions and other events.


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