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County Issues New Agreement On Convention Center Expansion Process

residents point to a 3-D model of the convention space

Residents were able to work with different site locations of the project at an April public forum. (Joe Hren, WFIU/WTIU News)

A new agreement on how to move forward with the Monroe Convention Center expansion is now in the hands of city and county officials.

Monroe County Commissioners issued a memo Wednesday to the mayor’s office and members of city and county councils to form a working group to agree on facilities and iron out a budget.

Mayor John Hamilton recently said he was frustrated with the delay in getting a new Memorandum of Understanding from the county. County officials pointed to a recent report that the expansion would cost almost $30 million more than the original $30 million approved with a one percent increase of the food and beverage tax.

Hamilton said a new parking garage and land acquisition was not part of the original estimate, and the city is looking into ways to fund the project.

But ongoing disagreements between the city and county about their roles in the project continue to cause delays.

READ MORE: Officials Figuring Out How To Move Forward On Monroe Convention Expansion

The new agreement includes determining the location and size of a new hotel, the convention center expansion and the freestanding parking garage.

The memo also addresses how the convention center should be operated once the expansion is complete. The commissioners want to create a Capital Improvement Board to run the center and property.

It states, “We think our decisions and guidance can then be provided to a Capital Improvement Board, allowing the Board to complete all subsequent stages of the work.”

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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