In the quest to build a new downtown arena, an important step was taken last night.
The Sacramento City Council voted 7 to 2 to approve $6.5 million in pre-development and design expenses for the new arena, the first substantial financial commitment by the city towards the project. Councilmembers Kevin McCarty and Darrell Fong were the only two no votes.
$1.755 million will go to the City Manager's office to hire consultants, while the rest of the money will be spent on design and construction. From the Sacramento Bee:
The consultants that City Manager John Shirey's office plans to hire will provide legal counsel and consult the city on design, financing and construction elements of the arena.
Another firm will help the city analyze its downtown parking assets. Of the $258 million public subsidy the council has tentatively approved for the arena, $212.5 million would be generated by revenue bonds backed by downtown parking spaces and garages.
This $6.5 million investment is not an additional cost to the $258 million public subsidy but rather a part of it.
A shout-out to Crown Downtown as well as our very own Kevin Fippin and Ed Montes for representing Sacramento at City Hall last night. No members of the opposition showed up. The Bee reports that STOP (Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork) have begun collecting signatures to try to force a public vote on the issue. They will need at least 33,000 signatures plus several thousand more as a buffer in the next few weeks to force a special election in December.