A decision by Casper City Council Tuesday reflects a desire to try and keep alive the vision for a civic auditorium, says  Assistant City Manager, Linda Witko.  Witko believes council members realized if they said "no" to at least considering a request for financial help in the form of a building purchase, the project would effectively be dead in the water.

"And I believe that nobody in the room wanted that to happen, but I also sense a reluctance on the part of the council to formally commit to anything."

The group, Citizens for a Civic Auditorium, asked the city to purchase the Iris Theater making them the property owner for the project. Council members agreed Tuesday to first research the possibility.

Witko says they'll meet with the sellers, Movie Palace Inc., and explore options, in particular, whether the sellers would be willing to buy the property back if the group fails to raise the construction funds.

Council members also indicate a desire to wait until after the new council is seated in January before committing to such a large purchase.