Lubbock Visitor Center A Go - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/24/08

Lubbock Visitor Center A Go

Lubbock is one step closer to getting a visitors center and now the price tag for it is a little cheaper. In a 5-2 vote, the Lubbock City Council decided to move forward with the plan of building a visitor center in the old South Beach Night Club building. However the maximum cost now must be no higher than $5.9 million as opposed to the $6.7 million decided upon during an earlier vote.

Thursday's council meeting started with a presentation about the visitor center plan, then moved to banter among the council that included an argument about the recusal of a council member from voting, and finally involved citizen comments about the visitor center before the vote.

"We're going to ask for a motion to be made and a second and I've asked Mr. Rob Allison to come up here for a presentation," said Mayor David Miller. And with that direction from the mayor, the proceedings were underway.

"We're developing a whole half block. And there's more function than just a visitors center. It's will also function as a gateway, its also functioning to house the music walk of fame," said Rob Allison with the city.

Allison continued showing graphic representations of the visitor center design. But the price didn't sit well with some on the city council.

"I am for a visitor's center. But my only problem is the price tag of this one. I look forward to our downtown redevelopment occurring as a result of this," said Councilman John Leonard.

"Thank you," replied Mayor Miller.

"I'm not finished Mr. Mayor," replied Leonard.

"Well I'd like to come back to you and give some other people a chance since you had a chance," said Mayor Miller.

"Mr. Mayor I have a question...," Councilman Todd Klein.

"If it's just one more questions I don't see it being a problem with it being said?" added Klein.

And it's a question NewsChannel 11 asked a week ago. "Ms. Jones are you planning on recusing from this vote?" asked Leonard.

"She did vote on it.  It's my opinion that it is proper today and I will stand by that," said City Attorney Anita Burgess.

From there it was open to the floor. Some were for the proposal, some were against,

But in the end the yea's had it 5 to 2, Lubbock will move forward with a visitor center at a new $5.9 million price tag, not the $6.7 million originally agreed upon. And because of an $800,000 difference between the original price and the new one, we wanted to know what changes would be made to the plan.

NewsChannel 11 called the city spokesperson Thursday afternoon and learned as of now, no official discussions have been had on how to lower the cost. But suggestions, like using existing utilities instead of putting in new ones, are on the table for discussion.

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