KENNEWICK -- A $3.2 million pavilion project to be built this summer at the Southridge Sports Complex won't require money from Kennewick's general fund or capital improvement reserves.
Mayor Steve Young said the construction money will come from $13.7 million in councilmanic bonds the city issued a year ago, but those bonds are being repaid largely from $12.5 million the city expects to receive through the state's local revitalization fund that's targeted specifically for improvements in the Southridge area.
The state money is expected to come from sales and property tax revenues raised by development at Southridge, which Kennewick sees as its best opportunity for future development.
Young said one of his campaign vows was to start seeing some of Kennewick's projects completed. Too many of them were started and unfinished, one being the sports complex, he said.
Don Britain, who also joined the city council following a campaign including criticism of alleged excessive spending, said the sports complex projects, including the pavilion, need to be finished because they can bring tourist dollars to the city.
The council has made the sports complex a top priority for the past three years, said Kevin Ferguson, assistant city manager.
"All of the council members have concerns (about the cost) but they want it done," Ferguson said. "The question is, will it pencil out?"
The money secured for the Southridge improvements is paying for the pavilion and will go a long way in extending Hildebrand Boulevard, Ferguson said.
"All of the $12.5 million must be spent in the Southridge area," Ferguson added, noting that a condition of the local revitalization fund requires improvements to be made, which in turn will create more sales tax and property tax to go back to the state.