Pensacola Bay Center Revamp

The plan for the Pensacola Bay Center would be to build a new center that seats 6,500 people, a field house and parking garage.

Commissioner Jeff Bergosh says it's time for the county do something about the growing maintenance problems the center is facing.

"It hasn't been maintained the way it should have been, we've put band-aids over band-aids , we've got big acts coming to town and the air conditioner breaks down, we have ice hockey games we have to postpone because the ice plant breaks," said Bergosh.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $80 million, the plan is to get 30 million from Triumph Gulf Coast, a non-profit corporation that provides money to communities impacted by the 2010 gulf oil spill.

" We would not use any general fund money for this, we wouldn't use any Local Option Sales tax for this, we would use money from triumph, money from tourist development tax, the bed tax the the visitors would be paying the cost for this over the next 30 years," Bergosh said.

The private group would put down the initial money for planning and construction. They would later be paid back through the bed tax and Triumph Gulf Coast.

"Another entity comes in and fronts the costs guarantees the construction, the time line and we get an injection from triumph that just makes it doable," Bergosh.

But before the project can move forward the board of commissioners will need to advertise the project to give to give other companies an opportunity. After that the County Board of Commissioner would need to approve the project.

Commissioner Bergosh says this is not the first time this private group has presented a plan to the board of commissioners.

If it's approved by the board it will then go to Triumph Gulf Coast for approval to get funds for the project.

With out the Triumph Gulf Coast funds Bergosh said he doesn't think the project will happen.

"One way or another something has to happen with the civic enter, we've kicked the can down the road and its time to get something done," Bergosh said.

Source: WEAR-TV

Nina Rawz


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