The Rocky Mount City Council has voted. The building of the Event Center which is now called the Downtown Community Center is apparent. Thankfully, the City Council voted to have a local contractor design/build the Event Center. At the Monday – September 14, 2015 City Council meeting the construction duo of Barnhill/Holt Contractors will reveal preliminary design and layout to the public.
We remain disappointed this was not put to a referendum and remain doubtful this will meet projections. The Community Council has pointed out areas of concern along with providing examples of failed projects. While saying this we hope our concerns are wrong and this proves to be the catalyst that transforms Rocky Mount.
This leads us to Ralston, NE which is another example of an arena that is a drain to the taxpayers. Ralston is small but is located just outside of Omaha which sports a MSA population just shy of 1 million. Ralston citizens were allowed to vote on this project which passed with 80% approval. Voters were told this would be so successful property taxes would be cut by 33%, construction debt would be serviced and the arena would generate a profit. Instead the forecasted revenue is $1 million short and operations exceeded the forecast by $2 million. Now Ralston citizens are faced with a property tax increase, funds diverted to cover debt and the potential of bankruptcy.
Sounds crazy but read the articles in the Omaha World-Herald. http://goo.gl/FFtneU
Here’s to success and as the band R.E.M. sang about here’s to Shiny Happy People. Buyer Beware!