by Sam Hieb
Greensboro’s proposed downtown performing arts center took a big step tonight, with the City Council approving several motions to purchase land. The 6-3 votes all went the same way —with council members Tony Wilkins, Dianne Bellamy-Small and Marikay Abuzuaiter voting ‘no.’
I guess what struck when watching discussion and debate was the $10 million discrepancy in private raised. While local media has been happy to report the $20 million in private funds raised through the Community Foundation, City Manager Denise Turner-Roth’s FAQ states $30 million will come from the private sector, as did a couple of council members speaking in support of the PAC.
Wilkins twice pinned down Roth and forced her to admit that indeed private funds were still $10 million short, and where those funds would come from is unknown. Wilkins just did not see the logic in making a $7 million-plus land purchase if the funding wasn’t in place.