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Archive for Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wichita to evict state Hall of Fame

August 6, 2008

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— Wichita City Council members voted unanimously Tuesday to terminate the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame's lease in 30 days, the Wichita Eagle reported on its Web site.

The decision comes behind the Hall of Fame's recent financial struggles. The hall turned to the city last month when it realized it couldn't make its biannual $97,000 rent payment.

City leaders knew they would have to pay the bill since the rent is used to make payments on a $1.7 million bond the city issued to renovate the building it used to lure the hall in 2002 to Wichita from Abilene.

But with the eviction vote, the city will now solicit quotes from real estate firms for sale or lease of the building that now houses the Hall.

Council members had expressed disgust with having to pay the Hall's rent. They said Tuesday that the city can't afford to bail out businesses or museums.

"We cannot continue to be all of these entities' financial safety net," council member Jeff Longwell said.

City leaders say the hall is a state agency and should receive state funding. But it has been hard-pressed to find that funding.

After receiving a one-time $250,000 payment in the 2007 legislative session, hall officials didn't press for state money this year.

Hall Executive Director Ted Hayes said hall officials have had "many discussions" with lawmakers, but it appears to be a low priority.

"Part of the situation we ran into last year is you have to have a champion," Hayes said. "You have to have someone who's really going to carry the water for you."

Comments

admireed 6 years, 4 months ago

This is a dog that very few care about and fewer which to visit. Store the stuff in a basement room at the Kansas History Museum. If there is no interest in doing anything in 10 years, sell it on e-bay

cato_the_elder 6 years, 4 months ago

What a fascinating contrast: The City Council in Wichita unanimously refuses to fund a $97,000 bailout of what was at one time touted as an "eco devo" project, but has obviously failed - in Lawrence, any of our City Commissions in the last 20 years, after hearing the sob stories, would have approved this spending in a heartbeat. Lawrence Commissioners, are you reading this story?

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