City Commission Votes on $5 Million Bond for TIF Parking Garage

By: Melissa Warren Email
By: Melissa Warren Email

"As long as we're bringing more traffic into the downtown area for all of these, it should spur more business for all of the local retail places downtown," said Mills.

The Bowling Green City Commission votes to approve a measure that will add $5 million in bonds to aid in the construction of the TIF district parking garage in downtown Bowling Green. The vote did not come without many questions from commissioners.

Hitcents decided to take an interest in the success of the TIF district and make it the home of their new offices, and when they did, their president says they could not have anticipated the additional cost of finishing the structure. While their offices are almost complete, to finish the wrap of business space on the first floor, they will need additional support.

"The first floor is where the entertainment district is going to be, looking for restaurants, and retail type locations," said Hitcents President Chris Mills.

Mills says Hitcents is rapidly growing and to continue they will need to be in an environment that appeals to prospective employees. The measure was approved by a vote of four to one with Commissioner Waltrip citing community concerns for his vote against the bond.

"A government entity backing bonds for what appears to be the creation of restaurants, and what that competition will do to our existing restaurants downtown," said Commissioner Bill Waltrip.

"As long as we're bringing more traffic into the downtown area for all of these, it should spur more business for all of the local retail places downtown," said Mills.

Another commissioner says the city will lose more if the project fails if they don't support the proposal, and says Commissioner Waltrip made a suggestion that makes the agreement fair for the community by adding interest on the bond.

"Because now it's not free money to them. If we did not do that, we are indeed just loaning them money and yes, they'll pay us back, but there's not charge for them using the city's money... the taxpayers money," said Commissioner Melinda Hill.

Waltrip says he hopes the project is successful, and believes the Mills and Hitcents can do it. Mills says he thinks an interest rate on the bond is fair. Mills and the city will meet to agree on a rate soon.


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