Art center rent may increase

The Milton Art Center may face difficult financial times with a looming increase in the rent it pays for a town-owned building. According to Joan Clifford, executive director of the center, the rent has been at $500 a month for the last two years, thanks in part to nearly $20,000 the center spent on renovations. Though the rate was extended six months last spring, executives say the rates may now go up. “We’re really hoping to get everyone on board in terms of ‘Yes, we should have less in rent because we bring value to the town, bring cultural vitality to the town in terms of the programming we can offer,’ ” Clifford said. The center is in year three of a 10-year lease of the space, and during an Oct. 17 meeting, selectmen agreed to keep the rent at $500 for now. Clifford is hoping for another six-month extension, or a different payment model, rather than face rates as high as $1,500 a month. “We’re still growing,” she said. “For us to come up with another $1,000 a month is hard.”