Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Metro Council Approves New Convention Center

Channel 5 By Chris Cannon NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Metro City Council voted to approve a financing plan for the publicly funded $585 million convention center Tuesday night in a 29-9 vote. Before the council meeting started supporters and opponents of the project filled Public Square, outside the courthouse, with their opinions. But the only debate about the convention center that counted happened in Metro Council Chambers. "This is a bright future for us all. Yes, oh I understand the opposition side. Oh yes, I was on the opposition side," said Metro Council member Sam Coleman. "I am not convinced this convention center is, with this financial plan - in this most difficult economic time, right for Nashville," said Metro Council member Randy Foster. A packed house listened to the back and forth over the proposed $585 million convention center. "Of course there is risk in a project of this size and this nature," said Metro Council member Erik Cole. "I feel the exposure is too great to the taxpayers of Davidson County," said Metro Council member Robert Duvall. After months of meetings and more than an hour of debate Tuesday the motion passed 29-9 with 1 abstention. Firm Still Suing Nashville Over Convention Center Land Metro Council approved the financing plan that will make the Music City Center a reality. Mayor Karl Dean said it was a vote for Nashville's future. "For a city to be able to do that tonight, I think we're the only city in America where that is happening, and that's a really positive thing," said Dean. Kevin Sharp, the leader of the opposition group, Nashville Priorities, said the vote went against what the people want. "When you've got six PR firms and seven figures to spend on convincing the council to go ahead anyway, that's what happens. The public gets steam rolled and it's unfortunate," said Sharp. Councilman Eric Crafton did bring a resolution before council that would have put the Music City Center up for a vote. The proposed referendum was defeated as well. email:

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