The Montgomery County Commission has approved the $130,700,000 bonds needed to build a Multi-Purpose Event Center (MPEC) to downtown Clarksville.
The 270,000 square foot event center, anticipated to open in 2022, would be home to the basketball games of Austin Peay State University and possibly a minor league hockey team.
On Tuesday, Nov. 12, the commission voted 17-4 in favor of the project despite sounds of opposition from people holding signs that read, “Let the People Vote” and “Right to Vote.”
Leading up to Tuesday’s vote, Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett met with residents and clubs, educating them on how the event center would be funded.
On Tuesday, Nov. 5, Durrett fielded questions from the members of the Clarksville Kiwanis Club on how such a project could be funded without using money from property taxes.
Durrett suggested funding sources could be the hotel-motel tax, a seat-user fee, sales tax from money spent inside the center and money from the naming rights of the facility.
Internet sales tax and P.I.L.O.T. (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) could also benefit the center, he said.
Durrett told Kiwanians that two different hockey leagues have contacted him, interested in locating a franchise in Montgomery County.
The plans are for the event center to be managed by the Predators’ management, Durrett said.
In Tuesday’s commission meeting, Commissioner John Gannon put forth an amendment to the funding resolution that prior to the sale of any bonds, contracts with the Nashville Predators and APSU would need to be in place.
The amendment passed 19-2. The resolution, as amended, passed 17-4. Commissioners Rickey Ray, Arnold Hodges, Brandon Butts and Joshua Beal opposed the resolutions.