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Town Toyota Center 2/7/2011
The Wenatchee City Council members finished a seven hour planning retreat last week 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, or PFD, that owns the arena. At issue is the debt service on the 53 million dollar loan. The City accepted 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. . ."CLICK HERE" for Audio
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. And to add to the misery.. the debt payments are expected to more than double, from about $ 1.3 million to about $ 3.3 million, once the bonds are sold. That is assuming there are investors willing to buy bonds knowing the payments cannot be met..

Earlier last week, after hearing strong public opposition, the PFD abandoned the idea of asking voters to pass a sales tax increase to cover the debt service.