Meeting Set To Discuss Rupp Project

Apr 23, 2014

Lexington lawmakers want to know more about the proposed renovations to Rupp Arena and the Convention Center before approving the budget.

After saying they have too many unanswered questions to take a position on the project, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council members schedule a June hearing on the topic.

There has been disappointment among developers and some lawmakers, after the legislature refused to give $80-million dollars Lexington Mayor Jim Gray requested for the Rupp redesign project. 

“I don’t want to put this in a flip way, but as you know, the legislature giveth and the legislature taketh away.”

That was Project Manager Frank Butler, who answered numerous questions posed by council members yesterday, including how much it would take to continue to move the proposed plan forward.  “The cost of going into the next phase of design, which would be the design development phase, the budget to that would be approximately three million dollars.  And we’re also aware of the fact that we have not asked you to put a million and a half dollars to match this because obviously neither the Mayor or myself knew that that was going to come out of this session of the budget.”

The council is being asked to approve a budget that includes $40-million in bonds to help pay for the downtown venture which now has an estimated price tag of $310-million dollars plus $18 million in debt still owed for renovations to the Convention Center in 2004.