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Performing arts center will help transform Federal Way | Letter
Kudos to Mayor Jim Ferrell and the mayor’s Blue Ribbon Panel for an exhaustive economic and financial analysis of the feasibility, operational forecasts, and economic benefit of the Performing Arts and Conference Center.
Last year, Ferrell, along with some others in the community, expressed concern about operational and funding issues. Despite reservations about its capitalization and projected annual cash flow, the desirability of this project was not in question. So the mayor decided to act as any prudent financial conservative would: He sought out expert opinion.
Ferrell appointed nine well-respected members of our community, none of whom had voiced an opinion on the merits of the project. Their task was to study the reasonableness of the operating budget, capital funding requirements and the larger economic ramifications of the project. That report should put all doubts to rest. The report reinforced the previous work of Patrick Dogherty with a broad base of expert citizen input.
Furthermore, finance director Adé Ariwoola expounded on the plans to fund the project within the constraints of the city’s operating budget, the project’s expected cash flow and the city’s bonding capacity.
At this juncture, it appears that there are no reasonable financial objections to the project. It can be implemented without the necessity of additional taxes or diversion of existing city services. Furthermore, as the panel projected, it will result in job creation, business development and increased municipal revenues.
Beyond the dollars and cents, this project (along with the municipal pool, Community Center and Celebration Park) will help transform our city from a point on the map between Seattle and Tacoma to a community we can be proud to call our home.
Paul Levy, Federal Way