City Looks to Re-Establish Food & Beverage Tax to Fix Wade Stadium

By KBJR News 1

City Looks to Re-Establish Food & Beverage Tax to Fix Wade Stadium

March 28, 2013 Updated Mar 28, 2013 at 1:53 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The City of Duluth is looking into possibly reviving the .5 percent food and beverage tax in order to pay for the repairs of Wade Stadium

During a news conference today, Duluth Mayor Don Ness laid out the course of action he would like to take in order to renovate Wade Stadium after part of its wall collapsed last week.

Mayor Ness says he is looking into the possibility of seeking planning dollars from the Minnesota Legislature to help pay for the repairs of Wade Stadium after a part of the wall collapsed last week.

However, the City would need to generate $4 million or more of local match and is considering asking the legislature to re-establish the .5% food and beverage tax that expired in October in order to support the construction project.

Ness says that if the city does take this option into consideration, that the decision should be up to the voters via a referendum on this November's ballot.

The Mayor says that his staff estimates that it will cost about $500,000 in order to complete the detailed engineering necessary for the stadium and that it will require six to nine months to complete. However, Mayor Ness goes on to say that the engineers and architects need more time to have a better cost estimate and develop a shovel ready project.

Mayor Ness also says that after talking with the Huskies and the city architect, "it would not be possible to undertake construction this fall, even if the state made their appropriation this year".

Mayor Ness says that the best case scenario would be to start construction on August 25th, 2014 with completion of the repairs in the spring of 2015.

Tune in tonight during the KBJR 6 and Range 11 news at 6 as we take an in-depth look at the Mayor's proposal and the future of Wade Stadium.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns