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The $1 million debt the Hopkins Center for the Arts built up when it was closed during COVID-19 is closer to being erased with the passage of the 2024 city budget.

The 2024 budget for the city-owned theater on Mainstreet includes a transfer of just over $28,000 to the city's general fund from the theater's special revenue fund, as a payment on debt owed after the city covered some theater expenses during the pandemic shutdown. The theater will also get another $136,000 from the city's remaining federal COVID stimulus funds.

Theater debt to the city's general fund will be just over $132,000 at the end of 2024, down from a little over $1 million at the beginning of 2021.

The arts center budget accounts for about 1.8% of the city's levy. For a median-value home where city taxes total $2,187, the arts center accounts for $38.