Monday night the Rapid City council was brought another amended contract to get the President's Plaza project moving toward construction, but the new contract raised a lot of questions from council member.
The amended contract with Dream Design, the company behind the President's Plaza project calls for the city to invest $3 million for parking plus 2 million dollars from Destination Rapid City.
Questions were raised regarding the new market tax credits developers were gong to apply for to fund the project. In December the council supported developers to pursue new market tax credits that would help fund the project.
But now developers say they will not go forward with applying for new market tax credits because it will take too much time, time they could use finally beginning construction. They say if the city gives them the $5 million, that would go toward parking, they will be able to begin construction as soon as September. And construction would be completed September 2016.
Council President Jerry Wright says he met with the developers and he supports the amended contract. "We talked about it and it made a lot of sense to me and that the money, that 5 million dollars would strictly and only go to the parking structure," said Wright.
Councilman Steve Laurenti says he was wary of the amended contract. "Now the only thing that I see has changed since our unanimous vote to support this project is that they are asking for three more million dollars of the tax payers money and there's two million more coming from Destination Rapid City," said Laurenti. "And it seems to me that we're trying to change the storyline."
The council voted six to two to send the amended contract forward to the legal and finance meeting for further review.