Editorial: Events center won't come easilyAfter many months of discussions and work, there’s finally a City of Worthington events center proposal to consider. Now, we just have to know a little more about what we may be voting for or against.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
After many months of discussions and work, there’s finally a City of Worthington events center proposal to consider.
Now, we just have to know a little more about what we may be voting for or against.
The Worthington City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding on Monday night that gives Ruhr Development of Plymouth exclusive rights to negotiate with the city on the proposed events center project. Among the facility’s relevant details: The center would be constructed in Prairie Expo First Addition, have an occupancy of at least 400 people, have its daily operation contracted out; and be attached to a hotel.
An events center, to be sure, would allow Worthington to offer something that has been missing for the last several years. Since the Coliseum’s closure in 2001, Worthington has lacked the type of large-scale facility that a 400-seat events center would provide, and a connecting hotel would certainly be an ideal partner in the project.
The biggest question with the event center, of course, concerns the proposed half-cent sales tax referendum the city plans to present to voters in November. The council is still wrestling with how the wording will appear on the ballot, and is also considering its potential alternatives for the events center should the public vote a collective “no.”
It has been pointed out repeatedly — including on Monday night — that a projected 40 percent of sales tax revenues collected from the referendum would come from non-Worthington residents. Still, any sort of tax increase is just that — particularly at a time when everything costs more — and it seems obvious that passage of this referendum is not going to come easily. For it to move forward, it will require plenty of straight talk from city leaders and project advocates.