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Morning Sun
  • County approves CVB-PSU plans

  • Technically, the Crawford County Commission already committed to the Pittsburg State Event Center/Indoor Track Facility. Well, two of the members had.

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  • Technically, the Crawford County Commission already committed to the Pittsburg State Event Center/Indoor Track Facility. Well, two of the members had.
    Commissioner Tom Moody was not on the commission when that was decided, but he nonetheless agreed to sign the formal agreement between the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau and Pittsburg State. He also needed a little catching up on the details.
    “The commissioner approved late last year to increase the transient guest tax 2 percent, with one of those percents going to Pittsburg State for the indoor event center,” said County Counselor Jim Emerson. “We had a 60-day protest period. No protest was registered. We’re already starting to collect the tax.”
    The agreement between the university and the CVB will last for five years, with an automatic renewal unless either party wants to make a change to the agreement. As for the amount of money, that’s yet to be determined, exactly.
    Last year, the transient guest tax brought in close to $200,000 at a tax rate of 4 percent. B.J. Harris, Crawford County CVB director, said that already in 2013, the tax collections have been 3 percent higher than this time last year.
    Further, based upon a multiplier provided by the International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus, Harris said that last year’s economic impact of just the hotel visitors was roughly $12.4 million. Harris expects the economic impact to be even higher this year, likely over the $13 million mark.
    The biggest concern for Harris and the commissioners was about scheduling, and that was primarily addressed by a steering committee for the planned event center/indoor track facility. Harris will have a seat at that table, as will Pittsburg State representatives and individuals from the City of Pittsburg. Harris said the event center will be in high demand.
    “Just the track itself, we could see a huge need in the December to March months,” Harris said. “This will put us down as one of the best facilities in the region and the state. We can see a huge increase just in the track opportunities it can offer.”
    All told, the event center will get additional funding from a student fee increase, and help from the City of Pittsburg.
    Commissioners also asked Shawn Naccarato, Pittsburg State director of government and community relations, about the planned timeline for the project. He said that this project, combined with the capital projects for the renovation at the Overman Student Center and the construction of the Center for the Arts, that all three are expected to be completed within the next five years. He said that 18 months is a reasonable projection, roughly the same time frame as the completion of the Center for the Arts.

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