The Frisco City Council will consider tonight whether to send a $16.4 million bond package back to voters. The bonds, which were approved in 2002, would help pay for the city’s portion of a performing arts center in Collin County. KERA’s Stephen Becker reports on why the package is being reconsidered:
The Arts of Collin County was originally going to be paid for by private donations and contributions from the cities of Frisco, Plano, Allen and McKinney. Frisco voters agreed to their bond issue in 2002. In 2003, the Frisco City Council voted to continue the city’s commitment, even though McKinney residents voted not to participate.
But now, more than 1300 Frisco residents have signed a petition asking the Frisco City Council to send the matter back to voters again.
The petitioners are concerned about ongoing operating costs of the project, if it’s built. Without McKinney involved, each of the remaining three cities will have to pay more to run the facility.
Lorie Medina is a co-leader of the Frisco Tea Party, which spearheaded the petition.
MEDINA: “The issue is the project has changed. And so we feel like the voters, the citizens, they should have the right to make a decision on whether or not this is a package or program that we want to continue. I think we’re just concerned about the economic future of our city and we don’t want to be caught in a bad spot.”
Mike Simpson is the Executive Director of Arts of Collin County. He also used to be the mayor of Frisco. He says that Frisco’s portion of the operating cost of the facility is projected to be about $370,000 if the center opens as planned in 2013. He says that’s about $80,000 more than if McKinney were also contributing.
SIMPSON: “It’s not a large amount of money when you’re looking at the cost of operation on other services that the city provides and other venues that the city has. I believe that they are making a large amount of noise over a relatively small amount of dollars.”
Citizen input at tonight’s council meeting begins at 7:30.