LETTER: Think before acting on Palace proposalThe price tag at $35 million seems quite high, especially considering that is just renovations. What would the cost be to simply tear down and reconstruct the entire facility in its place?
By: Eric Krietlow, Mitchell
To the Editor:
Unfortunately, I was working during the Corn Palace debates, but here are some thoughts.
The price tag at $35 million seems quite high, especially considering that is just renovations. What would the cost be to simply tear down and reconstruct the entire facility in its place? We definitely don’t need a museum at taxpayer cost.
If we are going to use the Corn Palace as both a tourist trap and a convention center of sorts, then expand it sidewalk to sidewalk, with one row of parking for Palace staff only. With City Hall out of the way, it could all be floor space or seating. I’m definitely not suggesting we build it bigger simply for the games, and moving City Hall is hardly a priority, but if that’s what we want, we should be smart about it and make sure City Hall moves into an unoccupied building in town rather than simply building a new one at taxpayer expense.
How about we save the $35 million, repay much of the city’s debt, and lower taxes/simplify all regulation on businesses on Main Street to encourage long-term development and growth?
I do know this — if we simply move the Palace somewhere else, and that somewhere else is anywhere close to the interstate, the northern end of town will die. It’s already struggling as it is, with empty office space and empty buildings dotting Main Street. Don’t subsidize them, just be smart about it and get tourists to drive through town a ways to find the Palace.
By the way, raising taxes on motels (where tourists stay) to pay for a tourist trap is idiotic.