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Price gets county funding for Civic Aud, but not easily

Sun Advocate associate editor

In the end, Price City got what it came for: $25,000 from the county's restaurant tax fund for continuing improvements at the Civic Auditorium.

But convincing the commission to approve the recommendation of the Restaurant Tax Committee was not easy.

At an earlier meeting this month, commissioners tabled the request because they had heard that the city had $800,000 in reserve from a similar fund of its own. All of them wanted to hear why Price was asking for county funds on top of that.

So Brett Cammon, representing the city, came back to last week's meeting with a list of city projects totalling between $800,000 and $1 million.

In addition to the auditorium, there are plans for tennis and basketball courts, Wave Pool replacement, new starting blocks at the pool, and possible replacement of the pool dome.

So the city's money is fully budgeted, and since city motels and restaurants account for 78 percent of the county's Restaurant Tax revenue, the city was only asking for a little back, Cammon said.

This brought a retort from Commissioner John Jones: "We've been great partners in the past, but don't make accusations that the county hasn't been giving to the city."

His colleague Mike Milovich was also displeased because the city was coming in every year for funding of the auditorium improvements instead of letting the commission know the total long-term cost.

Cammon replied that was because the city budgets year-to-year.

But Milovich was also concerned that the auditorium work was operations and maintenance expense, which the county fund would not cover.

He voted "no" on Jones' motion to approve the request for that reason. Jae Potter voted "yes."

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