Council approves event center resolution

A resolution involving a potential event center in Borger has been approved by the Borger City Council.The resolution, approved Tuesday at the council meeting, has certain specifications.For a period of five years beginning on Oct. 1, 2012, and ending on Sept. 30, 2017, the City of Borger would agree to own, construct, maintain, and operate the proposed event center under the following conditions:*The adequate funding to construct the project pursuant to the then current scope and opinion of probable cost of the project would be deposited in a designated account with the Amarillo Area Foundation or secured by other appropriate means.*The land pledged by the Borger Economic Development Corporation is still available or another site is secured.*The facility will be located inside the corporate limits of the City of Borger.Several months ago, the Borger Multi-Events Center Committee, consisting of Mark Mitchell, Patty Kasch, Beverly Benton, Leon Roberts, Robert Vinyard, Jerry Hefner, Jud Hicks, and Shawna Lamb, sought and obtained a proposal from CS&L International to perform a feasibility study for a potential events center.The proposal was approved by the Borger City Council in February, along with an unbudgeted expenditure not to exceed $50,000 for the study.According to Borger City Manager Eddie Edwards, the result of the feasibility study indicated that in 2012 dollars, the anticipated direct revenues from the operation of the multi-purpose event center should be between $430,000 and $695,000. Operating expenses are expected to range from $674,000 to $855,000. “These estimates are calculated on a stabilized year of operation which is assumed to occur by the fifth year of full operation,” he said.A proposed competing center in Canadian would tend to lower revenues and expenses, broadening the operating deficit to as much as $244,000 annually. If this center is not built, a lack of competition would tend to increase operating revenues and expenses and narrow the operating deficit to around $160,000 annually.“In either case, the direct operating deficit should be offset by increased sales tax and hotel occupancy tax, estimated to be between $163,000 and $306,000 per year, again dependent on any competition,” Edwards said.The results were taken from the final report from CS&L, and the estimates assume that the construction of the proposed facility will be fully funded without the city incurring any debt and/or associated annual debt service.Vinyard, Mayor Pro-Tem for the council, said an ultimate owner needed to be established. If such action was not taken, the event center project would more or less be a memory.Under the resolution, action was authorized to establish a 501c3 account to be set up with the Amarillo Area Foundation. The account will be funded with a minimum required deposit of $10,000, which will come from the city’s tourism fund, funded by hotel/motel tax, and no city taxpayer dollars.Council member Brandy Callahan affirmed her support for the project, saying she believes it will help the Borger community move forward.Attending the meeting were council members Charles Gillingham, Bubba Dickson, and Callahan; Mayor Pro-Tem Vinyard, and Mayor Jeff Brain.