Bridge View Center’s Executive Director worried about its future

Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 2:13 PM CDT
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) -Many Ottumwa businesses have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, some solely depending on government assistance to stay afloat.

But large event venues like the Bridge View Center aren’t as lucky and are on the brink of closing.

Scott Hallgren is the Executive Director of the Bridge View Center.

"We are struggling to be honest and it is hard."

Hallgren says many government leaders have a misconception that publicly owned event venues are doing fine during the pandemic.

"And we are really not."

Hallgren says the Bridge View Center has not received or is eligible for funding from the CARES Act.

“To date we have not seen a single dime that has trickled down out of the governor’s office down to even down to our local city level where maybe the City of Ottumwa would get that funding.”

He believes publicly owned venues across the nation have been left out of getting financial help from the government causing the venues to suffer.

"We have had to furlough 45% of our employees, so almost half our team is furloughed and the rest of us that are working, myself included, we have taken pay cuts just to keep the bride view center going."

Bridge View Center is facing big challenges to keep our doors open and has taken on more expenses to reopen safely including buying new cleaning equipment to kill the virus and more signs for guest safety.

"We are working are darnedest to find ways to you know to be able to keep the events, do them in a safe way."

Hallgren says the Bridge View Center helps drive Ottumwa's economy and hopes they will be able to stay open and continue to pour into their community.

"We really do believe that an open Bridge View Center is going to mean for a faster recovery to Ottumwa in our community than a closed Bridge View Center."

The Bridge View Center hopes letters sent to government leaders will be seen and help them receive funding to keep their doors open.

Copyright 2020 KYOU. All rights reserved.

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