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Committee debates $600,000 conference center funding

Budget committee members, after a hefty debate, moved $600,000 in proposed conference center funding to the “parking lot” for further discussion.

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At the committee meeting Thursday, members launched into a heated discussion on the funding in the proposed 2012 budget. Mayor Eric Struemph’s proposed budget sets aside $600,000 for funding of a conference center, with the idea that the same amount be put aside each year until the facility is built.

First Ward Councilman Mike Harvey said while he is in favor of a conference center, now is not the time to be setting aside such a large amount of money for it when sales tax revenues are down and the City Council may have difficulty balancing the proposed budget as is.

“Great idea, bad timing,” Harvey said. “I just don’t think this is the time to do it.”

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