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April 05, 2011 06:37 AM

Public Invited To Talk Events Center

Sioux Falls, SD

After much talk and preliminary planning, the events center conversation is finally opening up to the public. Tuesday night is the first of what will be several opportunities for people to chime in on the debate.

Whether you're concerned about where to build it, or if it should be built at all, this is the forum for those questions. Sioux Falls City Council members, project architects, and all other stake holders will finally be in the same room to share what they've been working on now for months.

"I think the public is wanting to participate in the discussion as well and tell us what they're thinking and we need to hear that as councilors because there's going to be some big votes that come up here shortly," said Sioux Falls City Council Chair Greg Jamison. 

Those big votes will eventually include how to pay for the proposed $100 million facility, and for a plan that will decide its location, size, and viability.

"Both of those things may not happen. We may not approve the plan because we have problems with it or we're not settled on something and we want more information," Jamison said. 

He said while the public grapples with its own uncertainty over the building, the city council also needs to know more. Much of that hinges on an economic impact study, and the results of the Mayor Mike Huether's plan.

"How much money is coming from the private sector? Is there a corporate sponsor who'll contribute a significant amount? Essentially what is that dollar and are we headed to go ask the public to borrow?," Jamison said.

The city council has already allowed the mayor to spend about $500,000 on preliminary studies and plans for the project. Jamison expects a more realistic view of the project once the economic impact study and the mayor's plans are finished in mid-April.

Drawings are on display from 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. at the Orpheum Theatre in Downtown Sioux Falls. The public forum runs from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday also at the Orpheum.

To submit a question, e-mail by Noon Tuesday.

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