Saturday, April 13, 2024
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Crossville Sports Authority Could Help Finance Rec Center

Crossville looking at the formation of a Sports Authority to serve as a financing mechanism for the Recreation Center project.

Crossville Mayor RJ Crawford said a Sports Authority would allow the city to leverage water rates and sales tax revenue to lower bond obligations. He said the residents of Crossville have made it clear that if building a rec center would raise property taxes, they would rather the city scrap the project.

“Let’s make sure that we don’t put this on the backs of the property tax, which nobody here in Crossville wants,” Crawford said. “I think we’re trying to listen to what the population wants and we’re trying to deliver them some type of product that they can then let us know if they want us to move forward or not.”

He said the council also considering forming a Tourism Development Authority that would provide similar bonding freedoms for the project. Current estimates put the cost of the project at some $39 million. He said the council hopes to decide how to proceed by May.

“Our Bond Manager as well as our City Attorney recommended that we look in all avenues for funding mechanisms,” Crawford said. “Right now, we currently have a Public Building Authority in place and that requires it to go through property tax.”

Crawford said the Putnam County YMCA has agreed to pay $10 million of the $39 million project and take over the yearly operation costs. He said that is a major step in the right direction for those who hope to see the rec center become a reality.

“If things move in the right direction, we could potentially get this thing off the ground for less than $29 million, which would be huge,” Crawford said.

He said the council’s next step will largely be decided by the final bonding rates. He said the city has also hired a communication firm to keep the public well-informed on any developments related to the rec center. He said in the next 45 days, Crossville residents can expect to see updates on the city’s website and social media.

“It makes it a lot more attractive,” Crawford said. “It makes it a lot more affordable.”

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