Council approves event center study

A feasibility study for a new events center in Borger has received the green light from the Borger City Council.During its regular meeting Tuesday, the council approved the proposal from CS&L to conduct a feasibility study on a potential multi-purpose events center and authorize an expenditure from the tourism fund not to exceed $50,000 for the project.The study will consist of two phases, the first centering around market and market supportable facility analysis. The cost for the first phase is $33,000. The second phase would consist of event level, financial, economic, and ownership/management analysis along with reports and presentation work. This phase will cost $11,000. The remaining $6,000 will go towards the coverage of out-of-pocket expenses such as travel, postage, printing and/or reproduction. The funds will come from the city’s tourism fund. The study will take 12 weeks to complete.Mark Mitchell, who is a member of the Borger Multi-Events Center Committee, said work on this project has been taking place for two years. Through the help of BEDC, the committee was able to secure a pledge of land for the center in August of 2011, and it feels like the next step is to move forward with this study.He said CS&L has great credentials not only nationwide, but also throughout the local area. Mitchell said the committee wants to do this study to really get down to the meat of the project.Mayor Pro-Tem Robert Vinyard, who has served as a city representative on the committee, said he has been working diligently on this project with the other members. The committee is doing all it can to see that it is making the right moves, Vinyard said, and securing the land was an important one. However, he said he sees the feasibility study as the next important step.“It’s come down to a point that we need to have an owner,” he said. Right now, he said the city seems like the best fit to be the owner of this property, and the committee wants an answer, either a positive yes or a positive no, before it asks the council to have the city take on this project.He said the committee feels like this is the only way it has left to prove to the City of Borger whether taking on this project would be a wise or unwise investment. “None of us on this committee want to see the City of Borger with a white elephant,” Vinyard said.He said the cost of the feasibility study will be well worth the money to get the answers the City of Borger is looking for prior to moving forward.Mayor Jeff Brain said he is 100 percent behind the project, but he doesn’t want the City of Borger to take on a project that could cost taxpayers a lot of money and not be a benefit to the community. He said the study is the ideal solution and he is excited to hear the results.In addition to Vinyard and Mitchell, fellow events center committee members are Patty Kasch, Beverly Benton, Leon Roberts, Jerry Hefner, Jud Hicks, and Shawna Lamb.Council members attending the meeting were Charles Gillingham, Bubba Dickson, Leon DeWeese, Vinyard, and Mayor Brain.