AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The five-member citizen executive committee gave its final presentation to the Amarillo City Council regarding the future of the Amarillo Civic Center on Tuesday.
The committee told the council the current facilities have many deficiencies and the Civic Center bond issue is necessary to move forward.
The committee was appointed by the Amarillo City Council in 2018 and consists of Jennifer Gallardo, Mike Hughes, David Lovejoy, Rod Schroder, and Julie Sims.
If approved by voters, the committee said the $279 million civic center bond would allow for necessary changes.
“We saw what these vendors had been putting up with, you know, the hockey teams, the football teams, the lockers, it was so obvious that we needed to do something,” said Sims. “Really, we were working with substandard situations right here.”
The tax increase translates to about $12.57/mo. per $100,000 home valuation. The committee said our community is outgrowing the civic center and in its condition, it will not last another fifty years.
“It’s a 50-year facility that we’ve designed, and I will promise you that the money will be well spent,” said Schroder.
The proposed ACCC arena would seat a maximum of 10,100 people, which the committee says would help keep civic center users, including the largest, the Working Ranch Cowboys Association, here in Amarillo.
“We just cannot put them on hold any longer, where if we lose them, that’s $6 million immediately out of our local economy,” Sims added. “That’s a big hit to us.”
The manager of the WRCA, Leman Wall, said the committee’s recommendation is a step in the right direction.
“We are not trying to leave Amarillo,” Wall said. It’s been our home. We want it to be our home. Reality is, when those limitations occur, you have to start considering the future. That’s where we’re at. We’re having to consider our future and what we’ve seen here today is very encouraging.”
The bond issue also includes the destruction and relocation of City Hall and its services and the renovation of the Santa Fe train depot, which would all be part of the ACCC project.
No vote was taken today for the proposal for the civic center. That vote will take place on February 11.
There are two public comment opportunities for this project. One on Tuesday, January 28, and the other on February 11 before the council’s vote.
If the proposal is approved by the city council, it will be on the ballot for the May election.
To learn more about the proposed ACCC’s economic impact and how it could affect your bottom line, click here.
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