employees--except for the directors--of the Memorial Opera House and the
Porter County Expo Center have been furloughed until further notice, the
Porter County Commissioners are announcing.
includes five full-time and eight part-time employees.
“This was a
heart-breaking decision,” Commissioner Laura Blaney, D-South, said in a
statement released on Sunday. “These outstanding employees are the ones who
have worked so hard to make the Opera House and Expo so successful.”
The county’s Human
Resources Department is assisting the impacted employees in filing for
unemployment benefits. The full-time employees will be able to maintain
their health insurance by paying their share of the premiums and the county
will work with them to make payment arrangements.
venues, the Opera House and Expo Center rely on the revenues they generate
to pay salaries and expenses,” the statement said. “The Opera House has had
to postpone two of its major musical productions and Expo has cancelled all
events at least through the end of May. The decision of when the employees
can return to work will be re-evaluated monthly by the Board of
“It’s not a matter
of if they will return but rather when,” Blaney said. “These are very
uncertain times and we had to make this difficult decision to assure that
the Opera House and Expo will be financially solvent and ready to open their
doors when it is safe to do so.”