Green Bay City Council takes up excess room tax, Ferris wheel, Colburn pool

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GREEN BAY, Wis (WBAY) -- The Green Bay City Council is taking up a number of items at its Tuesday meeting including the excess room tax debate in the battle for a new Brown County arena.

So far, the council unanimously voted to approve the option 4 remodel of the Colburn pool which won't exceed $5.5 million.

Now city staff will prepare plans and specifications to put out bids for construction.

By going this route, Alderman Chris Wery says the city will get back about $809,000 of the $1 million originally pledged through donations.

The council has decided to accept a donation from the Friends of Bay Beach for a brand new $2.1 million Ferris wheel. If everything goes as planned, it will be operational by 2019.

Finally the debate continues over the funding of a new expo hall.

County officials were at Tuesday's meeting to answer any questions the city has about the amended plan.

Last week, during a special meeting, the Redevelopment Authority voted no on the amendment, even though city council members voted in favor of it last month.

Right now the amendment is to give what's left of the excess room tax used to build a new $93 million area back to the municipalities involved.

"They are very interested in this, as are we, I think the one thing we have in common with the county is we want a state of the art expo hall exactly how it's funded and financed, we have to iron out the project so we are committed to project," said Green Bay Mayor, Jim Schmitt.

"From our standpoint, we are going to work on dispelling miss info. We want to make sure RDA has accurate info on true cost and square foot and then they understand exactly what is happening and then from there we will continue to talk about this getting moving forward," said Troy Streckenbach, Brown County Executive.

Members voted to hold a special meeting with the Redevelopment Authority to discuss the excess room tax amendment. When that meeting will take place has yet to be determined.