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Council Under Pressure for Arena Solution 6/15/2011
The Wenatchee City Council is feeling pressure to make some decisions about how to finance the Town Toyota Center. During Thursday’s special City Council meeting, the council will be asked to consider two options to pay for the arena.

One option have the City of Wenatchee paying all operating expenses for the arena with future arena revenues being used to make debt payments. If the city follows the other option, it will continue to loan the PFD enough money to cover its shortfall in making its debt payments.

Either option will require a combination of significant spending cuts and new taxes. The city is paying 1.6 million dollars this year to cover debt payments.

Mayor Dennis Johnson is pushing for the council to make the decision as soon as this week, so that the city can begin the four-month process to piece together its 2012 budget. But Councilwoman Karen Rutherford wants a more cautious approach, saying that the council needs more time to review the options.

This new push for a solution to fund the Town Toyota Center comes after the Blue Ribbon community task force that was set up to advise the council, fell in attendance from 40 to 10. With the dwindling interest in the committee, the City Council now feels that decisions need to be made, effectively ending the task force’s advisory role.