On the Corn Palace remodel/reconstruction
Unfortunately I was working during the Corn Palace debates, but here are some thoughts.
The price tag at 35M seems quite high, especially considering that is just renovations… What would the cost be to simply tear down and reconstruct the entire facility in its place? We definitely don’t need a museum at taxpayer cost. If we are going to use the CP as both a tourist trap and a ‘convention center’ of sorts, then expand it side walk to side walk, with one row of parking for CP staff only. With city hall out of the way it could all be floor space or seating. I’m definitely not suggesting we build it bigger simply for the games, and moving city hall is hardly a priority, but if that’s what we want we should be smart about it and make sure city hall moves into an unoccupied building in town rather than simply building a new one at the taxpayer expense.
How about we save the $35M, repay much of the city’s debt, and lower taxes/simplify all regulation on businesses on main street to encourage long-term development and growth?
I do know this – if we simply move the CP somewhere else, and that somewhere else is anywhere close to the interstate, the northern end of town will die off. It’s already struggling as it is, with empty office space and empty buildings dotting main street. Don’t subsidize them, just be smart about it and get tourists to drive through town a ways to find the Palace.
By the way – raising taxes on motels (where tourists stay) to pay for a tourist trap – is idiotic.