Financial Plan for Event Center

by Kelly Choate on February 27, 2012 at 9:19 am

A financial plan is in the works for the Southeastern Ohio Cultural Event Center.

On Monday the Muskingum County Commissioners met with the Bond Finance Manager for Robert Baird Company.  Commissioner Jerry Lavy said the county could sign on to a backstop for the project.

"A backstop is like a loan, almost like a guarantee, so they set a portion of the money off to the side that’s at least for one year’s payment of the bond interest, or the debt payment, and then if there’s some particular reason they can’t meet that through their revenue for the year, they can withdraw from that backstop," said Lavy.

Lavy said the Muskingum County Convention Facilities Authority is working with officials to organize all aspects of the project.  Interest rates are low, and with the upcoming economic boom from shale drilling, he said now is the time to focus on building the center.

"I think this has been on the planning board for a long time," said Lavy.  "It started out many years ago with Potter’s Alley, and that kind of went to the back of the bus because of financing, and then this development came about, because it’s something that’s needed."

Lavy said the commissioners will make a decision in the next few weeks regarding the possibility of the backstop.