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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Ice Arena "Donors" Negotiating Through Media

In what can be only mildly described as just another chapter in Janesville's long-running ice arena soap opera, the fundraising group involved in foisting a new ice arena on Janesville taxpayers have essentially and defiantly thumbed their noses at the city council's outrageously generous offer of $2 million and free land in an industrial park off Beloit Avenue on the city's far south side. As reported in the Janesville Gazette, they started negotiations on their own to purchase the privately owned old Janesville Tennis Club building near Target on the city's North side.

The private fundraising group (donors? investors?), acknowledging they are unable to meet the Dec. 31st deadline to raise $2 million in matching funds, appear to be reshaping a new proposal with new math unilaterally through the media as news of this latest ploy by the group broke first in the fund-raising friendly Gazette.

Although a new arena is viewed as a fiscal boondoggle by many, including myself, some still think a new arena has the potential to make money to offset the city's subsidy. When in truth the facility, if privately owned, would likely not even cover it's own property taxes.


Anonymous said...

But its a good ol'boys club so it's not considered defiant when they're amongst themselves. Oh, and never mind that the Bell building is older than the existing arena. It's time for the city to move on and renovate the current ice arena.

Lou Kaye said...

That goes without saying. The Bell building is a whole new can of worms. We should maintain what we have as a community centered public-use facility close to downtown, but throw in an additional $1 municipal tax on every beverage and admission sold during private-for-profit Jets games. It would still be a bargain for the Jets than building their own facility and paying property taxes on it. Janesville officials have to get away from directly subsidizing private ventures with taxpayer money. It’s just wrong if not corrupt.

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