Music Center - another Million Dollars in Construction Costs
Council intends to add an additional $1 million to the Music Center construction cost Monday night. The two additions are a VIP Tent / reception / parking area and upgrades to the concession stands.
The VIP tickets may be presented to sponsors, purchasers of box seats and possibly season ticket holders. Additional to the normal concert experience VIP tickets may include a special hospitality tent, dedicated restrooms and VIP parking. Having a VIP section will help us charge more for these tickets. At this point it would be useful to look at the established Music Center business plan and revenue / expense projections and update so a comparison between the new and the old can be evaluated.
The concession stand improvements were briefed as the city deciding to purchase the Pizza ovens, nacho machines and other food preparation and storage equipment. Council believes having the city provide this equipment will add an additional 20% in concession revenue which was computed to be $62,000 a year. I was pleased to see that council was going on record as expecting about $300,000 in concession revenue each year until I was told that this figure was taken from one of the scenarios found in the validation study, which was followed up with the standard qualifier that those scenarios are examples of what could happen and not the expectation of what will happen. But we did get another commitment from the Administration Committee that a better break-out of cost and revenue expectations will be provided, someday.
Council was briefed that these additions would be paid for using the TIF revenues generated because of the restaurant chain that decided to build on site. Council heard that this extra TIF revenue was not planned on or needed in order to pay for the existing Music Center construction expenses. The implication being that the city is already generating and will continue to generate enough TIF revenue to pay for the Music Center construction even if there is no additional construction in the I-70 TIF district. As you know, I've been critical of council for not producing a TIF revenue projection that shows we have enough revenue to prove what staff implied yesterday. If what was implied is true, this would go a long way in relieving some of the criticism of the project. Knowing that we have enough money coming in now would also mean that when the next business builds in the Heights this would mean the additional TIF revenue would not be needed to pay for the Music and Aquatic Centers. If council chose to do so council could propose to the schools to change the existing TIF agreements so that the schools could receive this additional revenue.
As a side note, the amount of additional TIF revenue expected to be generated because of the construction of the restaurant is $1.5 million over 30 years. This is very similar to the amount council was told would be generated if a new Park Towne TIF were created. As you recall council wants a Park Towne TIF in order to pay for a new Firehouse. There was no discussion during the meeting of using this new TIF money in order to build the desired Firehouse.
Both the Administration and the Public Works committee meetings were about an hour long each.
In the Administration committee we heard that there were up to four companies via for naming rights to the Music Center and it is likely there will be an agreement with one of them shortly.
Council heard that our new management company has hit the ground running and already contacted prospective acts for next year.
The Heights Development: we heard that there is a Unified Development Plan and a Unified Listing Agreement for the development and that two companies had begun to work earnestly in outlining the plan. I am unfamiliar with how these plans were implemented and how they relate or obligate the city. Additionally, no mention of the status was given for the five reports required since 2011 by the 201 & 202 Commercial Corridor Development agreement. If you recall that agreement tells us we will get: a Land Assembly Agreement, an Initial Conceptual Development Plan, Updated Conceptual Plans, Infrastructure Analysis, Projected Budgets and Projected Schedules.
Concerning the Tax Levy, council gave no consideration to limiting the tax increase to 2 years as I recommended.
Public Works Committee
The Parks and Recreation briefing included and overview of users of the parks. This year so far there have been ten organized sports leagues renting facilities. The organizations represent sports such as football, baseball and soccer.
Previously the Parks and Recreation board recommended we try and establish and area for Pickleball. The primary location discussed is to convert the tennis courts at community for this purpose. These courts already need to be resurfaced, even for tennis, so this seems to be a good idea to look into and perhaps budget for the conversion.
The Aquatic Center operations were briefed. There have been 5 days were the facility has been closed due to weather and one bad weather day when they opened and there were just 4 visitors. However, on the warm days we've seen over 1300 visits and specifically today (a Tuesday) there were more than 750 visitors before 4:30 pm.
Standard apology - I posted initially without a proof read. Since then I've corrected the title and a little bit of phrasing. I appreciate your making and posting edits in the comments or sending via email - Thanks, I appreciate the help.