MOUNT CARMEL — Mount Carmel City Council heard two proposals for building a stage at the Uptown Amphitheater, and during Monday's council meeting, approved a proposal from Market Street MTC group represented by Terry Beckerman.

Beckerman presented the group's proposal at the Oct. 23 city council meeting. Their proposal included a concrete stage that that will be 28 feet wide and 24 feet deep, and will have a built-on ramp and gable roof.

Beckerman said the Market Street MTC group would raise the funds for the stage. They would begin construction at the end of this year with completion of the first phase of the project to be done by next summer.

Cory Casburn, with Art and Community Together, attended the Nov. 6 meeting and proposed building a stage with a bandshell and functional seating. While he gave the council some details of his project, he requested more time to build a more detailed presentation due to his lack of notification on the project proposal deadline.

During Monday's council meeting, Commissioner Justin Dulgar said that time is a factor because they would like to see the stage constructed for bicentennial events being planned. "Cory had great ideas, but he needed more time and we just don't have time," said Dulgar.

Commissioner Joe Judge agreed with Dulgar. "I have applied for two grants based off of the plans presented by Beckerman. I will need to withdraw those grant requests soon if we don't move forward with that project."

The council unanimously agreed to move forward with the Market Street MTC group's plans.

"We don't want to discourage Cashburn not to go forward with his plans. We would still like him to pursue his idea, and if he can get the funds, we can put it somewhere else in the city," said City Clerk Rudy Witsman.

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