Council to discuss event center funding

By Brie Handgraaf

Staff Writer

27 Comments | Leave a Comment

While an official decision on the proposed event center has not been scheduled, Rocky Mount City Council could vote Monday to move forward with plans for funding the more than $42 million project.

“I made a motion that was seconded in the past that we empower city staff to pursue funding for the event center with the latest New Market Tax Credits and EB-5 funding, so I expect that action along with discussion will take place at the meeting,” Councilman Reuben Blackwell said. “I certainly hope that the majority of the council feels this project is sound enough and fiscally feasible to begin to look seriously at our funding options for it.”

After Blackwell read a prepared statement at the April 28 council meeting, a motion was made for staff to do some research and schedule a workshop for Monday to discuss the project in further detail before making a decision to pursue funding. The workshop will start at 5 p.m. in the committee room with presentations on how the proposed center would affect the city’s Capital Improvement Plan, a five-year projection for the General Fund Operations and what the next steps are for funding the center.

“I want to provide the information the council needs to make a good decision,” City Manager Charles Penny said. “That includes what the overall financial picture looks like.”

Penny said several consultants and analysts will be at the meeting to answer any questions the council members might have. The workshop is open to the public, but public comments or questions are not permitted during the meeting.

Two of the funding options for the project are EB-5 Funding — a federal program that provides a visa to foreign investors in exchange for an investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States – and New Market Tax Credits – another federal program designed to spur new or increased investment in low-income communities.

“These federal programs are designed to help census tracts that are distressed and need a shot in the arm,” Penny said. “But to get a shot at these funds, we have to make sure we are included in allocations when they are submitted in September.”

If the council pursues the center funding, an econometrics study has to be completed as well as a good deal of work on the part of consultants to advocate for the project among community development entities who submit the allocations. Both will take time, which Blackwell said is why the council needs to decide soon on whether to pursue those options.

“This project is significant and interesting enough that when we shop on the tax credit market, I believe it will attract a great amount of private investment opportunities for our community,” Blackwell said. “I firmly believe that this is a transformative, catalytic project that will benefit our entire region, but especially our downtown area.”

Several projects such as the Imperial Centre for Arts & Sciences and the Douglas Block renovation have been funded through the use of tax credits, which allows for a percentage of the financing to be forgiven later on down the road.

“In order to get $12 million forgiven in the future, we have to make sure we raise $40 million in New Market Tax Credits, which is a hefty task,” Penny said. “It isn’t reasonable to think one will fund the whole project, so we need to get three or four community development entities to include us. I think we’ve got a good shot at that and we are going to give it our best.”

In addition to considering authorizing city staff to move forward with pursuing funding for the project, council members will consider an agreement with the N.C. Department of Transportation for 100 percent reimbursement of more than 7,000 linear feet of sidewalks at the 7 p.m. council meeting. According to Director of Engineering Brad Kerr, the city was approved for a Safe Routes to School grant for sidewalk construction around Baskerville and Williford elementary schools, which covers all of the $500,000 project to be started next summer.

Other items up for a vote on the 7 p.m. agenda include:

  • Receipt of nearly $7,000 in sponsorship from Coca-Cola for supplies at the Sports Complex.
  • Dedication of the South Rocky Mount Community Center’s multipurpose room in honor of longtime resident and advocate Mary Dew Barnes.
  • Proclamation of May as Historic Preservation Month and the week of May 18-24 as Public Works Week.

Comments

You will discover these bags

You will discover these bags your local discount house and in many online stores. Regarding designer replica chanel handbags you have chosen is a great method to save allot of clinking coins. In summary, designer replica, fake or real, large chanel handbags are located in various places and costs. Before shopping you should definitely know what you enjoy, especially in terms of size, style and price structure. This will help in the end limit your plan of action and find sellers in your town which offers the top deals. Using this type of information you can make your quest less of a challenge Tote chanel replica Bags. You should meet up with applications this help support ladies inside brand of study. It may be just a stupidity to work with plans outdoors your present informative concentration since prospects for really being recognized is going to be corresponding to nothing at all.

Look in the Mirror

There are racists on both sides of this issue. I really don't understand why white males have played the good old boy game for decades and now they are losing sleep because a few black guys are playing the good old boy game. You white guys are getting a taste of your own medicine and you can't handle it. Life goes full circle, sometimes. GET OVER IT.

Ha Ha Ha

EB-5 Foreign investors (Japan, China ?) Commercial Enterprises make money not loose money so that option is dumb and should not even be on the table. NOW !!! Market tax Credits (Gov. Grants) "Census Tracks that are distressed and need a shot in the arm". (POOR BLACK COMMUNITIES) This Event Center is nothing more than another exploitation of the POOR as the Art Center, Sports Complex, Braswell Library, ect. funded with "Market Tax Credits" The "DISTRESSED" (POOR) don't benefit from nor know these facilities funded by their suffering exist. To answer the question of "Why no other locations was considered"? Millions of "Market Tax Credits" Gov. grant dollars. The POOR provide more grant money for the city than all the business in Rocky Mount combined. Truth be told after the CHARLES PENNY EVENT CENTER (Retirement ticket) is built the POOR won't be able to afford the cost to attend, again they will be left out as usual. How many of the projected 400 jobs will go to the POOR ? NONE because the POOR is considered to be uneducated, unskilled, unemployable, drug users, drugs dealers, ect.

Rocky Mount City Council

Some are going to be for it and some are going to be against. So do what you feel is the right thing to do. I trust that ya'll will do the right thing. But the sad part this is about seeking funding and these folks are talking about it is a done deal. SMDH!

Once again

Mr. Dancy you have NOTHING to offer to help create jobs for POOR BLACKS YOUR PEOPLE?

Agreed I sure do not and it is not

the business of the Rocky Mount City Council to create jobs either. Why don't you create some jobs since you have the answer.

Help

Not sure what you are saying. What does SMDH mean?

go

figure!

According to the Urban Dictionary....

anntom wrote:
Not sure what you are saying. What does SMDH mean?
it means, "shaking my damn head." If the speakers on your pc are turned up, you will hear a distinct rattling sound when you read his posts.

louis wrote: it means,

louis wrote:
it means, "shaking my damn head." If the speakers on your pc are turned up, you will hear a distinct rattling sound when you read his posts.
I thought it meant- Stupid Me. DuH

LMBAO!

Hey! Hey! Hey!

It's a done deal

This is bought and paid for. "we the people" have no say. This is for the council to have another picture taken for the news paper.And receive another phony awad that they award to them selves. And believe me this paper will be glad to take those pics and publish them. I will be paying for this and if I dont like it I can leave. That is my only option. This place is so screwed up that no one cares any more.And why should they waste their breath ? Nothing ever changes. they just suck it up and pay. Just trying to live out my life with a nickel left in my pocket. What a joke

You can readily believe that

You can readily believe that the telegram has their nose firmly up the council's posterior. Have yet to see a negative article on their monkeyshines.

Event Center Funding

Although the city council may on board regarding the event center I am not sure Rocky Mount residents are. Residents from all parts of Rocky Mount are concerned about high utility bills, crime, etc. People in Rocky Mount want the city to focus on more pressing matters and believe a 45 million investment in a building that will sit vacant most of the time is a poor investment. The center is expected to create 4oo jobs according to optimistic projections. However, most of these jobs will be temporary/part time and be in service oriented positions. Any job is obviously better than no job. But Rocky Mount residents can already obtain these these type of jobs without the City spending 45 million dollars on an event center. For 45 million dolars the economic impact generated is not that high.

Also I read how the city has

Also I read how the city has approved to increase the number of police officers? This is not an increase... It's just replacing some of the 30 that have jumped ship in the last 12 months. They make it look like they are bumping it up but indeed just replacing a few of the many that have already left... It's word play as usual.

Also I read how the city has

Also I read how the city has approved to increase the number of police officers? This is not an increase... It's just replacing some of the 30 that have jumped ship in the last 12 months. They make it look like they are bumping it up but indeed just replacing a few of the many that have already left... It's word play as usual.

Disrespectfull and pathetic

Although I agree with comments made by Neil Nelson, it is obvious that this city council intends to run "rough shod" over its citizens and intends to build a civic center regardless of the costs, projections, and respect for the tax paying citizens of this community. The city is destined to become another Chicago or Detroit simply because the city government is being run by individuals who have no concept of money, profitability, or costs. It is utterly ridiculous and pathetic to see what is happening to Rocky Mount. The exodus will continue, which evidently what this council wants. It is simply PATHETIC and OUTRAGEOUS!

We need a way to opt out!

So how about this? Why don't all in favor of this convention centre step up and take responsibility for raising only their taxes ,and only those in disagreement can opt out. When it fails miserably those who had the hindsight to reject it won't be burdened by councils poor decisions. It seems to me that those that want it should own it. Those that don't will not benefit by it if for some reason it breaks even. Make the voters who say YES! Sign a release that they will pay up if it defaults... I betcha not a single person signs up to vote for it! It's a whole lot easier spending other peoples money. There has to be a legal way to opt out of this... Might be worth asking a lawyer about! Seems no one should be able to make decisions for you. Those in favor should finance those in disagreement can opt out and their taxes will never be affected when it goes in default!

Audio of Councilman Blackwell's Prepared Statement

You can listen to the entire audio of the April 28, 2014 city council meeting by clicking on the link below. Please Stay Informed and Get Involved on this and other local issues. http://thecommunitycouncil.org/quid-pro-quo-audio-of-rocky-mount-city-council-meeting-april-28-2014/

BOLLOCKS!

There is nothing so stupid as putting the decision to spend millions of other people's money with no consequence to those voting for it. Give the PEOPLE the choice!

Reuben and the City Council are a group of thugs at the least or ignorant power tripping supremacists at the worst.

Consequences.....

Noah Boddie wrote:
There is nothing so stupid as putting the decision to spend millions of other people's money with no consequence to those voting for it. Give the PEOPLE the choice!

Reuben and the City Council are a group of thugs at the least or ignorant power tripping supremacists at the worst.

If a reasonably responsible and informed electorate existed in the city, the consequences to those voting for it would be a rejection at the polls. Ironically, just opposite will occur: those voting for it will be assured of reelection. Those councilmembers who will vote for it know this to be the case. Such is the extremely sad shape in which this city is mired. I guess this is "democracy in action." I am resigned to the fact that more of the same will follow....that incompetency will only lead to even more incompetency.

I've only lived here 10 yrs

I've only lived here 10 yrs but see it clearly just as you state. It's clearly the good old boy system here. More worried about pleasing the majority to get reelected... The other 30% will never have a chance here. If they would run the city like it's their own check book... Oh wait they probably are! Which explains a lot! They want to play robin hood take from one to benefit another...

Huh ???

If the good ol' boys were still in office things would be better here. I dont think you even know what that means. you need to get out of the house more and actually talk to a few of the old times around here. then you would know who the good people of RM are. So get it straight

The good ole boy system means

The good ole boy system means that one buddy does a favor for his or her buddy when they don't deserve or earn it! Not sure what you are talking about. If you're referring to the old times then yes I'm sure things were done right back then. Not to get your buddy a job or handout as the good ole boy system does. I was I a agreement with you not trying to upset you!

The good ole boy system means

The good ole boy system means that one buddy does a favor for his or her buddy when they don't deserve or earn it! Not sure what you are talking about. If you're referring to the old times then yes I'm sure things were done right back then. Not to get your buddy a job or handout as the good ole boy system does. I was I a agreement with you not trying to upset you!

The good ole boy system means

The good ole boy system means that one buddy does a favor for his or her buddy when they don't deserve or earn it! Not sure what you are talking about. If you're referring to the old times then yes I'm sure things were done right back then. Not to get your buddy a job or handout as the good ole boy system does. I was I a agreement with you not trying to upset you!

Wrong.

1st off I am not upset. Im way past that. and thank goodness this gross waste of money will not affect me. Maybe that is what it means to you but to me it means that the good people of rocky mount were running the city in a way that helped the people of the city do better in life. Now what we have is gross waste, fraud, reverse discrimination. This city is finished. That is why i moved to the country years ago. And if they annex my land.. I will not fight them because i will lose. I will move again. I will not pay a single penny to the city in tax or utilities for the rest of my life. I'm too smart for that. I dont not want my money going to people who wait for free hand outs or a job that consist of photo ops and accepting phony awards. If you dont want this mess... and you dont want what you think is the good ol boy system... then what do you support ?

Add comment

Login or register to post comments