Concerns over convention center cost; news conference scheduled | News
Mayor Ron Payne has scheduled a 1 p.m. news conference to discuss the proposed Convention and Events Center.
On Tuesday, there were concerns from the Owensboro Chamber of Commerce about the size and cost of the facility.
The Chamber makes it very clear that they fully support an events center downtown, but are concerned about the size and cost: $50 million and 169,000 square feet.
Even though the Chamber is backing the city in building the center, questions remain about the price tag.
"What has become of the overall downtown comprehensive plan? That plan called for a $30 million, 80,000 square foot facility," said Chamber President Jody Wassmer. "What size events center can we afford as a community?"
Wassmer says she questions if Owensboro is big enough to have a 169,000 square foot events center.
It's estimated by Judge Executive Al Mattingly that the total cost would climb to $50 million to build the current design, and people want to know where that money is coming from, according to Wassmer.
"We've heard city leaders say they have identified other funds to pay for the difference but what funds are being used? If the city has enough funds to make it happen, will reining every available nickel and dime put the city in a precarious financial situation?"
The steering committee was scheduled to take a vote to push the center forward on Wednesday, but since the chamber has voiced their concerns, that meeting has been canceled.