Refurbishing Egyptian Theater

Issue: Ogden City and Weber County would like to create a downtown entertainment/ convention center with the old Egyptian Theater as a centerpiece. HB426 would provide a $1 million contribution from the state, to be combined with more than $16 million in local and private funding for the project.Action: The House Education Committee passed the bill out to the floor with a favorable recommendation.

Pros and cons: Weber-area representatives said the complex would mean the same thing to their area that the Salt Palace has meant to Salt Lake County. The theater would enhance community and Weber State University performing arts programs and provide a larger meeting center for conventions, they said.

James Douglas, an Ogden resident, however, said the Legislature was getting only part of the story. The theater/convention complex would be part of a project that also includes a new Weber County government building, he said. The issue should be put to Weber County voters who will ultimately foot the bills, he argued.