State of Kentucky and Lexington officials are considering revised strategies for funding the proposed Rupp Arena project. Governor Beshear said yesterday it would not involve any increase in the hotel/motel tax in Lexington, but it does call for the state to increase its commitment from 65 to 80 million dollars.
In his budget address last week, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray called for borrowing 40 million dollars for the downtown project.
Gray and University of Kentucky officials met with Senate Republicans yesterday. "I have routinely said, I am unshakably optimistic. It's a very efficient system. It's been around for almost 250 years," said Gray.
While Gray emerged expressing confidence about the process and state funding support, Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer says budget decisions have already been made. "You know, we've passed the budget already and the decision in the budget was not to provide 65 million dollars of taxpayer money for Rupp Arena," said Thayer.
Senate Majority Caucus Chair Dan Seum says opening up the budget to fund the Rupp project would only have other interests asking for financial support.