Tue
Jan 31 2006
01:53 pm

According to a Knoxville News Sentinel article today (registration required) Governor Bredesen's proposed construction budget includes a $2 million grant promised by the state for a regional civic arts center in Maryville.

Apparently Gov. Bredesen didn't get the memo that the project was DOA. Or maybe he knows something we don't know.

You may recall that even though the City of Maryville, the City of Alcoa, generous Maryville College donors, and prominent local business people were all set to go with the project, and even though elected officials had secured state and federal funding for part of it, the Blount County Commission balked at funding the county's portion last November effectively killing the deal.

In December, two county commissioners proposed using expected increases in hotel/motel tax revenues to fund the county's portion of the project. At the time, the school board had just agreed on a seven-year, $105 million building plan. The resuscitated arts center project was pulled from the agenda, presumably because of public complaints that Blount County should not be "wasting" money on an arts center when more schools are needed. The idea was tabled and supporters said they would put it back on the agenda for January.

In January, the county commission rejected the school board's plan, and only agreed to fund $40 million of it. As far as I know, the arts center has not been brought up again.

So as of right now, there is no arts center project. Supporters on the county commission said back in December, however, that they aren't giving up and believe the money promised by the state and federal government will still be there if and when Blount County decides to go along. Judging by Gov. Bredesen's proposed building budget, that may be so. Or maybe he just didn't get the memo?

SayUncle's picture

 Oh, boy.  Here we go

 Oh, boy.  Here we go again.  This will breath new life into the effort.

--- SayUncle Can't we all just get a long gun?

Number9's picture

Learn from the mistakes of

Learn from the mistakes of others:

(link...)

If you build it they will NOT come and you will still have to pay for it.

Anonymous's picture

The knoxville convention

The knoxville convention center was built for visitors. An arts center is for citizens. Public projects that a city/county builds for it's citizens is a good and worthy cause to support, especially if there are already private and state matching funds. I think a comparison to the convention center is not a good one...

Number9's picture

OK, do you have a potential

OK, do you have a potential 40 million dollars of citizen purchases of tickets or contributions?

Will you yourself buy a ten dollar ticket every week for the rest of your life?

Because if you are 25 then that would be $32,800 if you live to be 88 years old. This is roughly .08 percent of the needed 40 million dollars to make this work. The break-even is very distant.

I would suggest a cable TV and many subscriptions to many Art magazines. Have you every tried Amazon? They do a very good job.

I would rather have my taxes go to schools.

Anonymous's picture

Not everything government

Not everything government builds has to break-even or make money. Libraries are extremely important for a community, however they don't turn a profit. Like I said, the KCC is not a good comparison. The KCC was built exclusively for out-of-towners. An arts center contributes to the culture of a community and compliments schools, libraries, parks and other public amenities that don't "break-even" financially.

Number9's picture

If you need schools

If you need schools shouldn't your first priority be to build those schools?

How do you justify 40 million dollars for Arts? Isn't that a little crazy? How much of a "Arts need" is there in Blount County?

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