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February 07, 2011

A Wenatchee City Councilman says last week’s planning retreat was productive. However, Council members finished the seven hour planning retreat with more questions than answers regarding the future of the Town Toyota Center’s construction debt. The City is part of a nine jurisdiction public facility district that owns the arena. At issue is the debt service on the 41 million dollar loan. The City assumed responsibility when the facility was built for annual interest payments on the loan until bonds were issued. The short-term interest-only note expires at the end of the year which means that the PFD will have to get an extension or find a bond investor. Councilman Jim Bailey presided over the retreat. He says at this point the ball is in the PFD’s court. The good news however is that, from an operational standpoint, the 43 hundred seat arena is in the black and making money. Just not enough to make debt service. Wenatchee City Councilman Jim Bailey says the City’s new red light cameras were also discussed in the context of a proposed ballot initiative that would do away with the cameras. The City Council is already preparing a campaign of public education to show where the City is spending the revenue from that program . . The Council wrapped up its retreat with a report from the police department on public safety issues including drugs and gangs.

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