Fayetteville Could Seek Bond Money To Pay For AMP, WAC

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The Arkansas Music Pavilion's previous location in Fayetteville

The City of Fayetteville may request $24 million in bonds to help pay for a few major local projects that are in limbo.

Marilyn Heifner, director of Advertising and Promotions for the city, sent a memo to A&P Commission members this week proposing commissioners approve using two separate bond revenue streams to complete the proposed Walton Arts Center expansion and give the Arkansas Music Pavilion a permanent home, as well as to build a long-debated regional park to bring in more tourism.

The two bond proposals would total about $23.7 million. The city would eventually pay off about $35 million by 2038, according to Heifner’s memo.

The AMP has a deal with the city where the venue occupies the Washington County Fairgrounds, but the lease may soon run out. The lease will only extend through the 2014 season if the Fayetteville A&P Commission approves the extension at its Feb. 11 meeting, according to AMP officials.

AMP officials are committed to staying at the fairgrounds through 2013, but hope to have flexibility concerning its location in 2014 if they have not found a permanent location for the venue by then, said Beth Bobbitt, a spokesperson for the AMP and the Walton Arts Center.

“I recommend expanding the large amphitheater and eliminating the small one to meet the needs of the Walton Arts Center AMP,” Heifner states in the memo. “It is imperative to keep the AMP in Fayetteville.”

Over the last few months, the A&P Commission has been mulling an $8.5 million request from the Walton Arts Center for the center’s planned Fayetteville expansion. While debating whether to approve the request, some commissioners suggested instead putting the money toward a long-discussed city park facility that could host area sporting events and bring extra revenue into the city’s coffers.

The park would cost an estimated $27 million, according to Heifner. Her memo projects the park would bring in about $6 million annually into Fayetteville.