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City of Jefferson releases summaries on two conference center proposals

Leaders with the City of Jefferson have released summaries of the two final conference center proposals.

Both the Ehrhardt Group and the Farmer Holding company have proposed separate centers — one downtown and one at the mall.

The summary shows a larger conference center for the Farmer proposal, but they are asking for just as much public funding and tax breaks as the Ehrardt Group.

Both plans would ask for the public’s participation through an lodging tax that would end up being between $9 million and $12 million.

The Ehrardt Group would like a tax abatement on the hotel which would give them about $265 thousand a year.

Farmer Holding would like an increase to the existing mall TIF and also have a 100 percent TIF on the new conference center and hotel.

City Attorney Drew Hilpert says the city council is looking to get input from the public before making any decision.

“They’re never going to be apples to apples because its two different models. One is downtown, with it brings some downtown growth and the other is at the mall. So, they’re different models. They council will be looking at which one could succeed,” said Hilpert.

The city is holding a public forum on Monday at 5:30 p.m. to hear the public’s opinion on these two proposals.

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