Future Of Rupp Project Unclear As Funding Mechanisms Dry Up In Frankfort

Mar 31, 2014

Mayor Jim Gray is waiting on the final budget before signaling plans for the ambitious Rupp Arena project, but the news isn’t likely to be good.

Credit NBBJ / EOP / Scape

A compromise budget deal reached over the weekend stripped $65 million in bonding for the project and replaced it with $1.5 million for further planning.

"The $1.5 million was to be matched, so that would give them $3 million dollars to continue their design and preparation work. The money that was set aside for the actual debt service on the bond is parked in the rainy day fund, so if and when they were to bring back a plan that would meet with the approval of the General Assembly, both chambers, then the money is there to go forward on the bond," House Speaker Greg Dtumbo told reporters Monday.

Senate President Robert Stivers also says a bill allowing Lexington bump its hotel tax to help fund the project is also unlikely to move in his chamber.

Lawmakers in both houses say they would like to see a more detailed funding plan for Rupp - something Mayor Gray has promised within the coming months - before dedicating more money for the project.