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Posted: Tuesday, February 19th 2013 at 8:07pm

Convention center feasibility study approved

By Marc Eggers Staff
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Councilman George Wangeman
GAINESVILLE – The Gainesville City Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to partner with the Georgia Department of Economic Development and conduct a feasibility study investigating the potential for a new convention center and adjacent hotel complex.

This is the final approval for the resolution discussed at last week's City Council work session. (See link below for more information and detail about that work session.)

Under the agreement the Department of Economic Development would provide $25,000 to pay for a consulting firm, selected and contracted with by the City, to conduct the study.

A revised resolution was submitted to the Council for their consideration; the revised version contained wording to cap expenditures at the provided $25,000 amount.

“Basically the only change from your work session,” explained City Manager Kip Padgett regarding the revision, “is that it puts a 'not to exceed amount of $25,000', so if it comes back and it needs more than that, which is the grant amount, it'll need to come back to you all for further approval.”

In the Letter of Agreement the Department of Economic Development stipulates that whatever consulting firm the City contracts with have their recommendations in place in just over six months, setting a deadline for the study to be completed by September 1, 2013.

Councilman George Wangeman was asked if he had any reaction from voters in his ward (the 4th) and how he felt about the possibility of a new convention center becoming a part of the downtown skyline.

“This ought to be looked at very closely...obviously funding is a major question, as well...and see if
we truly need one (a convention center) here, which in most of our opinions, we probably do; (to) keep the conventions coming to Gainesville.”

“That is economic development in and of itself,” Wangeman added.

But, Wangeman added, “It's going to be a way down the road, in my opinion. We want to make sure that we're doing the right thing and if we (decide to) spend taxpayer dollars for such a project that it's done properly...and the will of the people.”

Link: Work session report link
Associated Categories: Homepage, Business News, Local/State News, Politics

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Gainesville, GA 30501
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