Music City Center plan clears another hurdle - WKRN News 2

Music City Center plan clears another hurdle

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nashville's huge convention center proposal took another step Thursday.

The Convention Center Authority, set up to oversee the project, approved financing for the $585 million facility.

The plan still faces a final vote before the Metro Council later this month.

The financing of the Music City Center involves issuing $650 million in bonds that would be paid off by Nashville's hotel-motel taxes and fees.

The authority thinks its answered questions from some who worry the bonds can't be paid off without general tax revenue to pay for the facility.

"I think we have structured this transaction very conservatively, very cautiously to minimize any potential impact," said Metro Finance Director Rich Riebeling.

Another issue involving the convention center construction was addressed in a letter to the authority from Mayor Karl Dean.

He asked the authority to establish a committee "ensuring opportunities for minority participation are maximized."

"We are very aware and conscious of the concerns that have been stressed by a number of people in the [minority] community," said Metro Development and Housing Diversity Business Enterprise Director Roxianne Bethune.

The chair of the authority urged his fellow members to be advocates now for the Music City Center.

"We voted for this thing, we should be out there making our voices be heard," said Marty Dickens.

They have until January 19, when the Metro Council is scheduled to vote, to do so.

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