City officials in Roanoke Rapids are defending a plan to pay entertainer Randy Parton one-point-five million dollars a year plus housing and vehicle amenities to manage a 15-hundred-seat theater.
The city borrowed 21-point-five million dollars to build in hopes it would help transform an area hit hard by unemployment and poverty.
The Randy Parton Theater is set to open in July. It will anchor a planned retail and entertainment complex called Carolina Crossroads, located off of Interstate 95 in northeastern North Carolina's Halifax County.
Parton is the brother of country singer Dolly Parton.
City economic development director Rick Benton says private donations have provided the house and car, not taxpayer money. The city expects that the theater eventually will generate enough revenue