INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Layoffs may soon be on the way for workers at the IndianaConvention Center. It's just part of the ongoing money woes for theCapital Improvement Board.
Hikes in hospitality taxes helped pay for the conventionexpansion under way right now but there is no money to market theadded space. That caused spokesman Phil Ray of the hotelassociation to express disappointment in the Capital ImprovementBoard even though he wasn't on the agenda at Monday afternoon'smeeting.
Neither was convention center employee Kim Nicely, who asked,"Where's the board at with laying off or furloughing employees ofthe convention center?"
His question failed to force the board to take a position, butafter the meeting President Bob Grand confirmed that layoffsbetween now and the end of the year are a possibility.
"We have under consideration continued furloughs and continuedlayoffs because that's the only thing we can do is to cut ourbudgets," said Grand.
Convention Center employees already endured one round offurloughs and the potential for more. Nicely said it makes itdifficult to give the sort of hospitality expected.
"I think that is what the board is losing sight of, that it isabout the facility user who comes to this city, spends tax dollarsand we need to capture more of those tax dollars to operate thefacility," he said.
But, if anything, money woes for the CIB may be growing.
The board was told Monday that talks are under way with theIndiana Pacers regarding the lease on Conseco Fieldhouse thatrequires the Pacers to pay $15 million in operating expenses.
It's a bill that could someday come to the CapitalImprovement Board.
On the other hand, some things are improving for the CIB.
At Monday afternoon's meeting, members heard that New Yorkbanks are reworking the terms on some of its debt and a loan fromthe state is on the way. But, the bottom line is that the crisis isnot yet over.
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