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If you’re a taxpayer in Roanoke Rapids you’re a guarantor on the city’s $21.5 million loan to Randy Parton to build the Randy Parton Theatre. But if you want to know how your investment is doing forgetaboutit.


How’s attendance? Is Parton paying his $41,000 per month rent on time? Is their any money left after Parton takes the first $62,000 in revenue each month to pay his artist fee? The city won’t say.


But what the acting theatre manager did say about attendance (at Parton’s first show) didn’t sound too encouraging. “You’ve got to crawl before you can walk. We knew from the beginning we wouldn’t have sell-outs every night,” he said.


If you think about it it’s all pretty unusual. If you’re a taxpayer you’re on the hook, guaranteeing the loan whether you want to or not. If you try to find out how its doing – so maybe you can head off a disaster – you can’t. And, if it defaults, your taxes could get raised to pay it off.


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