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CDA backs room tax study for expo center bonding

By Press Times Staff

AHSWAUBENON – The village’s Community Development Authority approved a contract Tuesday, March 5, with HVS to conduct a room tax study.

Robert W. Baird & Co. recommended to the village that it conduct a new study to evaluate future growth in room tax to use for bonding of the new expo center planned at the site of the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena.

HVS, which provided the initial projections of the room tax study in 1999, offered to conduct the latest study over four weeks for a fee of $28,000, with a retainer of $14,000 due upon authorization to proceed with the study and the remainder of the fees due upon HVS delivering the draft report.

The study is being paid for by expo center funding.

A memorandum of understanding between the village and Brown County to build the expo center is similar to what was put together for the construction of the Resch Center.

For that project, the village’s CDA issued revenue bonds with the county taking on that debt while leasing the space prior to owning the facility once the debt is paid in full.

The expo center has a total budget of $93 million.

Funds to pay for the project include $4.5 million from the stadium tax refund, the village working with the county to raise a total of $8 million in naming rights with another $15 million coming from the new half-percent county sales tax and the bulk of the funds coming from room tax dollars.

To determine the amount of room tax revenue available to support the development of the expo center, HVS noted its report will include the following analysis:

1. An assessment of the key market variables and economic data and providing an economic and demographic overview of the Brown County market.

2. An analysis of historical room tax collections to serve as indicators of future tax collections.

3. Hotel market trends in hotel occupancy and average daily rate with an estimate of the future hotel supply and demand in Brown County.

4. Market demand generators that have a significant impact on room demand in Brown County, such as NFL events and attractions, the KI Convention Center, the Brown County Fairgrounds and others.

5. Room tax revenue projections, risk factors, and coverage ratios for the period of debt repayment with annual tax estimates being converted to bond-year estimates.

HVS’s room tax forecast will include all the municipalities in Brown County that levy the tax: Allouez, Ashwaubenon, Bellevue, De Pere, Green Bay, Howard and Suamico.

Preliminary drawings presented at a public forum last month in Ashwaubenon show the expo center could be used as one large hall of more than 120,000 square feet or separated into three sections, roughly 40,000 to 45,000 square feet each.

To make room for the new facility, which would connect on the east with the Resch Center, the Brown County Arena, Shopko Hall and the former Packers Hall of Fame building would be torn down.

The project, for which the demolition work is expected to begin this spring, has a targeted completion date of January 2021.

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