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Multi-Purpose Event Center, Boon or Boondoggle

 

The Multi-Purpose Events CenterAs you may know the Economic Development Council (EDC) is trying to convince the County and City taxpayers to fund a Multi-Purpose Event Center.  Visit the website to view the presentation and maybe even take the time to participate in their survey.  Mr. James Chavez, president of the EDC, has been the front man on this project and has given numerous presentations throughout the City and County.  One such presentation was at a town hall meeting sponsored by Councilman Ken Takasaki.

A number of City Council members both past and present and a few County Commissioners were present at the meeting.  Mr. Chavez was asked some very specific questions concerning the profitability of an event center, who must pay the mortgage, how much annual revenue will the MPEC generate, what will be the debt service, who pays the debt service if the MPEC operates at a loss, how did the EDC calculate the debt service, etc.  Many of us left that meeting that night without answers.  Mr. Chavez promised Councilman Takasaki that he would supply those answers in a few days.  That meeting was over two months ago.  Mr. Chavez still has not provided the answers.

I sent a personal e-mail to Mr. Chavez at, cmcedc@clarksville.tn.us.  I received no response. I received no answers.  Maybe if you ask those questions of Mr. Chavez you will receive a response and some answers.

An article in The Leaf-Chronicle, Sports authority moves forward, Tuesday, June 13, 2006, stated, “City and county governments would be asked to approve $45 million in revenue bonds to finance the project.  The bonds would be retired with sales taxes generated by the center and an associated entertainment district of restaurants, hotels and retail shops.”  In taxpayer language that means that if the additional entertainment sales taxes are not as projected, the county and city taxpayer will pick up the tab.  Remember, the Convention Center wasn’t going to be a tax either!

This private company, Global Entertainment Corporation, wants the city and county taxpayers to pay them to build and operate the MPEC.  If it were such a great business opportunity wouldn’t they want to finance the whole operation?  Well, the answer is no because even Mr. Chavez of the EDC has told us that the MPEC will never operate at a profit.  They expect the “entertainment district” to generate enough taxes to pay for the MPEC.  However, remember if the entertainment taxes fall below projections, the city and county taxpayers foot the bill.  By the way, Mr. Chavez expects the city and county to form a “sports authority” that would oversee the construction of the MPEC.  Can we all say together, airport authority?  Maybe the “sports authority” can buy a trailer park to supplement the MPEC.

Oh, and one last item, you won’t get to vote on this project because there probably won’t be a referendum on the MPEC like there was on the conference center.  Boon or Boondoggle?


About Charles Cook

    Dr. Charles Cook is the CEO of ADVOK8 Inc. The mission of ADVOK8 Inc. is to provide representation and assistance to individuals in the areas of Title II, VI, VII and the processing of complaints through the Office of Special Council, EEOC, Merit System Protection Board, Federal Labor Relations Authority, Labor Union Grievances, Federal Service Job Classification Appeals and other related Human Resource issues.
    Dr. Cook is a member of the Clarksville Human Relations Commission, President of Friends of Clarksville, Member of the Clarksville NAACP, Published Author, Aeromedical Pilot, a Distinguished Toastmaster, Retired US Army Officer, Vietnam Veteran and an Eagle Scout.
    Dr. Cook has an Associate Degree from Troy State in Applied Science, A BS Degree from APSU in Public Management, a Masters Degree from The University of Oklahoma in Human Relations, and a Doctorate in Religious Humanities from ULC and an Ordained Minister and Doctorate of Divinity. Dr. Cook has served as the President of the National Federation of Federal Employees in South Korea and the Chief Steward of AFGE Local 2022.
    Dr. Cook is married with two adult children and has lived in Clarksville TN for 22 years. He and his wife are co-owners of C-Bees, members of the Clarksville – Montgomery County Beekeepers Association, and Master Gardeners.

    Web Site: http://
    Email: advok8@charter.net

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3 Responses to “Multi-Purpose Event Center, Boon or Boondoggle”

  1. Bill Larson Says:
    August 11th, 2006 at 11:34 pm
    Bill Larson

    I am against taxpayer backing unless the MPEC and the public areas of the surrounding retail shopping area are declared a public forum, and that there shall be no attempts to deny private groups or the general public access, or deny them their free speech rights, on the basis that this is private property.

    The facility must also be operated in a non-discriminatory manner. It should not matter if Clarksville Pride, or the Tennessee Baptist convention wishes to use the facility, both should be given equal consideration. However, local uses of the facility should be given priority over non-local ones.

    We must also be assured that this facility will be equally available for the poor as it will be for the rich and powerful. There must be provisions for waving any of the required fees for those local groups which can not pay, but who can demonstrate a legitimate need for the use of this public facility.

    As long as one dime of public money is used to back or fund this project this is a community facility and should be treated as such.

  2. Keith Svadba Says:
    August 26th, 2006 at 6:39 pm
    Keith Svadba

    I support the MPEC. If you look at Loveland Colorado and the economic inpact that it has had there since it opened. 100,000 a year according to the the University of of Northern Colorado’s study. What could could our schools do with that money. While nothing is a sure bet, if you look at Global Entertainment’s track record, it speaks for itself. They operate over 25 Event Centers, they also would not get a major mall company like CBL to come on board, if they thought they would lose money. Remember CBL has wanted to build a mall here since geting beat out by the owner of Governor Square mall back in the 80’s, which they now own part of. We should look at the deal closely, making sure nothing is left out like the roads as with hospital, or zoning of homes to close by, like with the industrial park. We must not put the cart in front of the horse on this deal. But we can also not pass it up.

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