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Westport Approves Funding For New Levitt Pavilion

WESTPORT, Conn. – Plans to construct a new Levitt Pavilion in Westport are closer to becoming a reality after the Board of Finance unanimously approved the appropriation of $6.7 million, via a bond, for the project. Of that amount, $1.1 million would be paid by the town and the rest through private donations.

“This is a fabulous example of public and private funds going to improve the value of our community,” board member Brian Stern said at Wednesday night’s hearing. “It really does make Westport a much more valuable place in many dimensions.

“We will, as a town, give $1.1 million, and we will get an asset worth at least $6.7 million — it couldn’t be a better financial deal for the town.”

A nonprofit outdoor concert venue, the Levitt is in its 39th year of providing more than 50 free nights of entertainment to audiences of all ages. In addition to its free performances, the Levitt annually hosts a small number of ticketed events, including the summer gala featuring big-name artists. These performances help underwrite all the free programs.

Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons will headline this year’s summer gala Aug. 24. Last year, the Doobie Brothers took the stage. In 2010, Huey Lewis and The News performed.

Designed by Peter Cadoux Architects, plans for the new pavilion call for a covered stage, and an information/hospitality center with food services and restrooms. The new pavilion would replace and be built on the site of the existing stage at 40 Jesup Road, behind the library.

“I think it’s an incredible opportunity that will benefit thousands of Westporters,” board Chairman Avi Kaner said shortly before the vote. “I truly believe that [the Levitt] is something that differentiates Westport from other communities.”

With approval from the finance board in place, the Representative Town Meeting, the town’s legislative body, will vote on the request at its meeting Aug. 7.

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