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SF Officials Talk About Paying For Events Center

April 18, 2011, 5:59 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

SF Officials Talk About Paying For Events Center
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Consultants have been drawing up plans for a Sioux Falls Events Center for months now, but Monday afternoon, city officials talked about how they hope to pay for it.

Mayor Mike Huether wants to keep the price tag around $100 million, but officials caution that estimates are preliminary and funding could change as they find out more information.

But right now they want to rely on three funding sources to pay for a multi-million dollar events center.

A new events center will be the single largest investment Sioux Falls will make, and just like any major purchase, city officials hope to have a down payment.

"The city's cash contribution, or in other words, essentially a down payment of sorts from the city, to put into this project to have equity as we start out initially," City Finance Director Tracy Turbak said.

The administration wants to use $15 million to pay for the project upfront. Then they hope to turn to private businesses to make up 15 to 25 percent of the cost through naming rights and sponsorships.

The council will vote Monday night on hiring a consultant who will calculate exactly how much private money can be raised for an Events Center.

"We are currently involved in initiating a process to hone down and refine the estimate that would become available, or could become available, from private sources," Turbak said.

The city plans to bond the rest and pay off the loan in 20 to 30 years.

They will lay out the exact costs in this year's Capital Improvement Plan and told the council they will be careful about sacrificing other city projects.

"As we develop the Capital Improvement Plan that will include the Events Center project, one of our goals will be to mitigate the impact that this project will have on other programs within the capital plan," Turbak said.

But through it all, city officials have the goal of not raising taxes to pay for an Events Center.

"It's important for the public to understand as well that there is no new tax that will be implemented to pay for the project. There is certainly no anticipation to increase tax rates to pay for this project as well," Turbak said.

Officials also revealed Monday afternoon that more information will be released next Monday when the results of the economic impact study comparing the Arena site and downtown site will be released.

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