Water co site for arena
Posted in the Humana Forum
#1 Mar 8, 2006
Ed Springston for Mayor
PO Box 58124
Louisville, KY 40268-0124
I have stated from the onset that the arena, in my opinion, was not necessary at this time for growth and development of Louisville. I have sent copies of what I consider to be more urgent things for this community. These include funding for better public safety for police, fire, and EMS, funding for infrastructure needs such as updating flood pumps per MSD, and more funding for small business growth and development with particular attention to the West end and southwest corridor where we have the most potential for growth at this time.
With all of the above said, I also said I agreed with John Schnatter's assessment of this task force and their objectives months ago. This task force is made up of political cronies who had one goal in mind. LG& E site was the only option and at the greater price that would benefit some politically and financially. I evidence this with one example being Will Summers V, Deputy Mayor's son and VP with Central Bank a private bank I am sure will be involved in the financial end of it. This is one example of a political money link for me anyway.
I applaud Mr. Schnatter and Mr. Jones for their courage to go forward with another study to ensure we get the best option for our dollar. These two gentlemen are self made men who would not be where they are today without a shrewd head for business and income opportunities. I respect them and their leadership in this issue. Mr. Schnatter, if you recall, even flew in some experts from Chicago at his expense during the initial task force meetings and was not even afforded equal opportunity.
I also believe at this time we must make a decision and move forward one way or the other. A referendum was never an option and the community is split on the arena. After researching and holding many discussions with residents and voters in this City, I have come to the conclusion that at this time the arena should move forward and be built at the Water Co. site. As I have always said once the people have spoken their will should be done. For me, that time has come regardless of my personal consideration.
The water company site makes the most sense for several reasons some of which I list here.
1. The Water company site offers more USABLE Square footage for the arena, 678,776 sq. ft versus LG. & E of 669,000. This is a net gain of almost 10,000 sq. ft so we have more usable space for restaurant or whatever other retail we will benefit from.
2. Most of the difference in cost is in site acquisition, demo and relocation costs. The Water Co. site cost, per the Bonham Group report, total is $16.4 million compared to $91.5 mill for LG. & E site.
3. The debt savings overall with the Water co. site will be over $241.1 million. Money saved on this is money earned.
4. There will be almost 2,000 more available parking spaces within a 3 block area of the Water Co. site that will benefit those who want to remain close to the entertainment district we have spent millions on.
5. The Greater Louisville Hotel & Lodging Assn. does not feel a new hotel is necessary in the community which tells me we have plenty of available space including this project currently.
After careful review of both proposals and input from real people in the community, although I have not changed my opinion on priorities, I do feel that it should be done and on the Water Co. site.
The test of Government is good stewardship with our money and doing the will of the people. We can accomplish both with the Water Co. site. A Downtown arena at an affordable cost.
I believe this firmly and will follow the overall consensus feedback I have been given. Let's get it done. I am behind the Water Co. site. Thanks for your time.
Ed Springston Louisville Metro Mayor 2006
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