After reviewing the plans for a proposed 150-acre, $78.3 million sports complex, both the city of Ankeny and the Ankeny Community School District announced this afternoon they will not provide funding for the project.
The release stated both entities feel it is in the best interest of Ankeny taxpayers that private funding be pursued to construct, manage and operate the complex.
Here's our coverage of Sunday night's town meeting on the project: Public Forum for Proposed Ankeny Sports Complex Draws Many Questions from Residents
This decision comes after months of planning by project creators CK Land Development and the Sports Facility Advisory Group of Clearwater, Fla.
Project developers were asking the city and school school district to consider a 20-year leasing option to finance the project. The leasing option meant both entities would have contributed about $2.1 million each per year toward the project's capital costs.
According to the project's comprehensive plan, operational costs for the facility were slated to break even four or five years after its completion. In year five, revenue from the facility was expected to start reducing the facility cost over and above the lease payment.
All revenue associated with the facility was to go back to the city and school district.
Clark Kramme, an Ankeny resident who, along with his brother, Mark, wants to build the complex to be used by multiple entities in the community, including the city and school district.
The sports complex would feature commercial properties on the east side of Interstate Highway 35 along First Street. It also would include a football stadium, competition pool, and both indoor and outdoor complexes.
“(This) will contribute $30 million to the local economy just from the facility, 240,000 people will be using it and 90,000 of those will be from out-of-state,” Kramme told the school board at its May 24 meeting. “People from all over town have been asking me about it and want to support this project.”
Kramme also said the project has garnered the support of the Ankeny Booster Club and the Ankeny Parents Association.
The joint release said the city and the school often work together on public-private projects to serve the needs of residents, but both entities believe the impact of this project on taxpayers would be "burdensome and unacceptable."
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