The once alive and then dead proposal for an Olympic ice facility at Utah Valley Community College is alive once again.
But just barely.The City Council voted Tuesday night to go ahead and submit UVCC's proposal, provided that other funding sources are found.
"Despite all the problems, and there are a number of those, we feel we should probably go ahead and submit the proposal with a number of contingencies," City Manager Daryl Berlin said.
The city earlier decided not to submit the proposal because it felt other Utah County entities should participate in funding because the facility would benefit the entire county. Tuesday's vote gives UVCC the go-ahead to finalize its proposal and then have Orem submit it before Friday's deadline.
Mayor Blaine Willes said that he felt the contingencies made the proposal weak and therefore not likely to be accepted. Berlin, however, said that about five proposals are expected to be submitted and all will have similar contingencies because of the language in the Utah Sports Authority's requirements, mainly that revenues will first be used to pay back the state before the local entities.
"They all have real problems with what the state language is proposing at this time," Berlin said.
On May 22, UVCC President Kerry Romesburg approached the City Council and asked the city to submit a proposal from UVCC to build a $13-million 6,500-seat special events center to be used for preliminary hockey and figure skating events, as well as other community and college events. The Utah Sports Authority requires that Olympic venue proposals come from the entity that would have jurisdiction over the site.
The UVCC facility would be funded with about $3.5 million from the Utah Sports Authority, $7 million in state general obligation bonds and $3 million in private donations.
Romesburg asked, however, that Orem provide $3 million in backup financing in case the private donations did not come through. He also believes it would make the proposal more attractive. The city at that time agreed to proceed with the proposal while studying possible financing options.
A week later the council came back and said the city had more pressing needs and no viable financing could be found, and therefore decided not to go ahead with the proposal. The council feared that by submitting the proposal it would be committing the city to $3 million. The council also wanted participation from other county entities in the project.
Orem and UVCC agreed on a proposal that states Orem's support is contingent upon the willingness of other Utah County entities to participate in funding the facility.