Lacey opts to wait on county convention center

July 7th, 2017 by Ken

“The Nisqually Tribe is important to the future of Lacey.”

With those words, Lacey mayor Andy Ryder may have effectively shut down efforts by the Thurston County Commissioners to create a cultural and convention center in Thurston County.

During a work session Thursday evening, county manager Ramiro Chavez and Commissioner Hutch Hutching, made a presentation to the Lacey council on the benefits of joining with the county in creating a special district to help fund a convention center.

But, Ryder’s words seemed to bring the discussion to an end.   Ryder said the city was still talking with the Nisqually tribe about the 240 acres of land the tribe owns in the Gateway area of Hawks Prairie and their idea of creating an entertainment center, which might include a hotel and convention center.

Ryder was joined in his remarks by Council members Lenny Greenstein and Jason Hearn who felt that a private entity should have the opportunity to build a convention facility before resorting to public money.

Ryder also told the county leaders that he has had talk with the mayors of both Tumwater and Olympia, and they all had concerns about the county’s proposal including the fast time frame the proposal seemed to be on.

Without the support of Lacey, the county’s largest city, it appears the county may have reached an end to its efforts.

Posted in Business, Local Politics, The Real News

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